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Author Topic: What is Character Voice?
Wenderella
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Would someone mind giving a newbie an overview of what "Character's Voice" means.

Thanks


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djvdakota
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Are you meaning 'narrative voice?' I suppose 'character voice' and 'narrative voice' would be the same thing in a first-person POV.

Narrative voice, to me, is the flavor of the language in which the narrator speaks. If you could 'listen' to the narrative, what would it sound like? Stuffy like a full-of-himself English Lit professor, full of big words and little meaning? Twangy like a back woods redneck? Warm and cozy like listening to Grandpa tell a story?

The narrator, in order to keep the reader interested through the necessary narrative summary, needs to have an at least interesting enough voice to keep the reader from nodding off between active scenes, IMO.

Character voice would be similar, in that each character would have a distinct way of speaking or expressing himself.

Hope that answers your question.

Welcome to Hatrack.

[This message has been edited by djvdakota (edited March 29, 2005).]


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Wenderella
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Yes, it definitly clears a few things up. So, would a story's narrator always have a voice? I suppose if the narrator didin't, it would be boring...In the story I posted, my narrator doesn't seem to have a voice, which probably explains why it sounds too much like a synopsis. This helps a whole lot, Thank You!
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djvdakota
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Narrator should definitely have a voice. In every story. And that voice should reflect the mood you're trying to establish with the story.

It would definitely be boring without one--like listening to the monotonous out-loud reading of barely literate 4th graders. Also, if your story sounds too much like a synopsis, it's quite possible it IS too much like a synopsis.

Try this exercise:

Write a scene from your story in first person POV. Tell what the character feels and thinks and sees and hears and smells. Show your readers something happening through this character's senses and observations.

Next, rewrite the same scene in third person. What you're trying to do is retain that sense of immediacy and excitement that first person gives you, but through the eyes of a detached observer who sees and hears and smells and thinks through the mind of the person who was ACTUALLY telling the story in the First Person exercise.

I hope that makes sense. I'm awfully tired. Bedtime for Baby. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ


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ScottMiller
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If you don't mind reading a book on the subject, I never tire of recommending OSC's book Character And Viewpoint.
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Wenderella
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Thank you very much, you mentioned that book and my husband happend to have it right here on his bookshelf, so I'm off to do some reading. :0)
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