Find your character’s voice

Let’s be honest. The second you sit down at your computer to type something for your first blog post, your mind freezes. Well if you don’t want to admit it, I will. It’s like all the good ideas in my head swirl and jumble together mixing into a muddy soup that either pours out too quickly or not at all. You know what? That’s okay. It is part of writing, part of the experience. If writing were easy, then everyone would be doing it. Writing is not easy.

I realize that most blogs have a theme; how to do this or that. Good for them. One day, my posts might be organized that way too, but not yet. The beginning of this blog will highlight several of my thoughts and ideas until I either choose a path, or we find one together. I might post about writing, current projects, pre-writing exercises, legal issues, or whatever is on my mind.

This past weekend I attended the annual League of Utah Writers Conference in Layton, Utah. It was a smaller meeting than other conferences I have attended. At first my disappointment with the lack of advanced classes being offered threatened to rob me of a good experience. However, after a little attitude adjustment, I enjoyed myself. More importantly I was able to learn. True, some classes were basic but that was fine. Sometimes you need to relearn stuff to remember why it is you like this craft.

One class presented by Alexander Gordon Smith on finding your character’s voice was amazing. Under his guidance, I experienced my first psychotic break, in a good way. He encouraged us to converse with one of our characters. I chose Valerie, from Uncommon. I have to admit, my first impression of the exercise was not good. This won’t work, I thought. But I cleared away the negativity and opened my mind to it. Wow!

As I began to write, Valerie came alive. She told me her concerns with the direction I was taking her story. She explained to me certain things were not working because that was not who she was. I was stunned. I know that if I follow her advice, the life, her energy, that I felt during our conversation will only bleed on the page and bring her story to life.  I recommend having a similar conversation with each of your characters; Villains, good guys and extras. It opened my eyes to the possibilities and is a worthwhile pre-writing exercise.

Until next time.

One thought on “Find your character’s voice”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *