As Toni and I write the Lorn Prophecy series, one of the issues that always creeps up is writing each character with an individual voice. This is one problem that I think needs to be addressed when we run through Fated before approving it for the beta-readers.
We've found it isn't as hard to develop the voices for the main characters, but the secondary or even the pop-in's are not as easy. We tend to have the Djen men talk the same, and the same for the Djen women. See, they talk more formal than you or i would.
But we always seem to figure it out and manage to separate the different characters personalities. That's one thing that's great about having two critique partners that seem to always ask if this would be the way the character would talk or act. But, that's not always the case with every book out there. Not everyone has a critique partner, and especially ones that are that intuitive.
I think this is especially obvious when people try to write in different sexes than their own, or with a huge age gap, such as older people writing as a teenager.
When I first wrote Fable, I had a difficult time writing Stevie and her friends the way teens talk. In fact, it was a friend of mine who's niece read the first 8 chapters and said it doesn't sound like the kids today. Toni and I decided to research the way teens talk and found a few great sites that we used on a regular basis throughout the manuscript. If you google teen talk you can find several good ones out there. There were some places that we had to wing it though.
As far as writing in a man's voice, we went to the source, men we know. My husband was pulled in to get the voice of Wood and Colton. Even though we wanted them to not be "a" typical, we still wanted them to think like a man would and react that way, too.
Then there was Torren. We wanted him to be a bad boy, but smart. I was adamant that he would not sound like a bad "B" rate movie. I think we did okay considering.
It is tough to find that voice of your character if they are so different than you. What have you found that helps you with the different voices? I know there are even writers who have a whole different set of speech and ideals of a made-up race. What would keep them consistent throughout so it rings true?
Would every race of beings think like us? Probably not, but it still needs to bring the reader in and immerse them in the story. This, again, is where keeping track of everything within the story with outlines helps. Even with character development. When it sounds like a bad movie, it doesn't captivate.
I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on finding the voices of hard characters and what helped you to accomplish that successfully. Leave me a comment and share your ideas. All writers learn from each other, so spread the knowledge.
Thanks again for all of your support, I always appreciate your comments and
Have a great week all, Lisa