The Voice

No, this is not a post about that horrible yet way too popular talent show which I don’t want to hear a thing about. Instead it’s about voices. Not voices in the literal sense, the ones that you can hear with your ears, but the ones that you can only hear in your mind. I’m talking about character voices.
In order to be believable, every book character or actual narrator needs their own personal voice. This doesn’t have to be complicated; it can be as simple as not letting a not-so-smart character use difficult words, as simple as letting a popular character speak in popular language and as simple as giving a character a catch phrase. Things like these are what makes a character come to life. This is even more important when writing in a first-person point of view, where one voices completely dominates the entire story. That voice needs to be strong, distinct and preferably relatable or interesting in another way. The kid in Emma Donoghue’s “Room” is a great example of this, as he is the story’s narrator and it clearly shows through that he is a little child who really doesn’t understand the world. I personally loved that novel, especially because it was so dark yet cute at the same time.
Another way of giving a character a voice is by actually writing out what they say phonetically, which might work if they have an accent or a speech impedement – but please do not overdo this, as I’m one of those people who wants to be able to understand what is being said without having to read it out loud/three times. Accents can give a character colour, although they come with some other dangers, as they might come across as racist or belittling towards those from a certain area or background. Also, the accent/dialect/whatever is spoken in my area is the most annoying kind of speech I know and I really wouldn’t want to see it in a book.
Character voices can make or break a novel. They can give a story a certain freshness if the protagonist or narrator is someone with a strong personality or wit, although this also goes the other way around. If the character is dull, their voice will reflect that – and a dull voice does not make for an interesting read.
Who is your favourite voice?

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It Got To Me

Writer’s block got to me last month. This third book in my series isn’t working. I’m on the verge of just giving up on it and starting with the next manuscript – the fourth, or maybe even the fifth story.
I am not sure what it is, but there seems to be a lack of story to be told. I should have planned it beforehand, I am aware of that. Now I just cannot bring myself to work on it. In fact, I am starting to hate it. At first, I was looking forward to this tale very much – my main character turned into an animal and had to figure out how to change back. Well, it turned into some kind of mystery drama with a lost teacher and a spy who brought down a curse on the people’s heads. It wasn’t fun. I don’t like this kind of story. I like actual horror, containing spirits, demons and other monsters. None of those are in here, so it isn’t working for me. I’m quitting. Maybe, someday, I’ll finish this manuscript.
I’m sorry for the rant, but in all honesty, I needed it in order to come down to this decision. Therefore, I’m thankful of everyone reading this blog, even though not everything I have to say is all that interesting.