By: C.S. Lakin
Last week we began looking at the topic of “voice” in a novel as the 10th pillar of novel construction, and I pointed out that there is a lot of confusion and disagreement regarding this term. So I’m going to give you my take on the topic, and I think it will end the confusion.
Voice is all about characters—not about you!
There, I said it. It’s so simple, really. Every character in your novel has his or her own voice, whether a child, a man or woman, a dog, or a robot. Every POV character in your novel has a unique voice—both internally, in the way they think, as well as in their audible speech.
Voice Isn’t Just Speech
In addition, any character that speaks out loud (not a POV character) has a voice as well. I don’t mean literally here—for of course they have a voice if they can speak (and if they use sign language, that’s speech too). But what we’re talking about pertains to the manner, style, and presentation of that speech. With these characters, their voice comes out only in the words they actually say and how they’re said—since the writer is not going into their heads.
With POV characters, voice embodies more than spoken words or direct thoughts in their heads. The narrative should as well. When you craft a scene in a character’s POV, every line in that scene has to feel as though it is being processed, chewed, and spit out by that character. Everything that happens in that scene is witnessed, experienced, felt, and reacted to by that character. And so, even the narrative must have “voice.”
Narrative Must Be Shaped by Voice. . .
Read the full article HERE!
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