We are now only four days away from NaNoWriMo, so I thought we could spend a little time discussing Character Voice. (There is so much to cover with this, that there will most likely be multiple parts on this topic.)
Weak character voice is common, but having a strong one is crucial. CV is what draws readers in, what keeps them. Think about it: do all of your friends have the same vocabulary? Are they all equally articulate? What about their sense of humor, is it identical? I would say that 99.99% of the time, that is not the case. As well it should be, for who wants everyone to sound the same, think the same way, and, ultimately, act the exact same way?
This is especially important for your Main Character (MC). Say Mr. Protagonist Man walks out and bids someone good day; the someone he is speaking to may give a simple "Hello," in return, or may say something along the lines of:
This depends totally on your character's voice. I have recently gone on a reading splurge, and read seventeen books in a mere two weeks. I read some with great character voice, and some without. In fact, in this one book, I was not all that invested in the story, but it was the MC's snarky and sarcastic voice that kept me going. And now I am reading the second book of that series.
So, how do you know when you've hit the nail on the head with your character voice? Think about your character; if they are darker, they probably won't be optimists. If they are always
happy-go-lucky, they probably won't be very sarcastic. Just think about your character and who they are and why they are who they are. Then write. And if it doesn't work, rewrite. Revise. Change. Fix it. Trial and error until it flows, until it's right.
This wraps up the first installment of Character Voice. Keep your eyes peeled for the next one.
As always, Happy Writing!