Hearing Voices & A Fun Crusade

Monday, February 7, 2011

In my debut novel, the main character is a guy who was born a twin, but was told his brother died at birth.  I’ve worked my way around to a story in which the long-lost twin is the hero. I’ve been writing this novel in fits and starts. Three chapters in, I floundered because I wasn’t sure I knew this new guy or his leading lady very well. I re-read my first three chapters and started writing again, but lost interest.  (Blame it on me having too much stuff going on all at once.)

Six chapters in, I’m facing the same challenge. So, in order to write convincingly in his voice, I’m rereading the first novel to reacquaint myself with his brother’s voice and taste. (The things we have to do as writers!)  Capturing similarities in taste is a breeze, but getting the voice right is a whole ‘nother challenge.  As twins, they would have many things in common; however, the voice can’t be the same, since these are two distinct men, no matter that they are closely connected on a psychological level.

So now I’m forced to delve into some articles about voice.   I skimmed through a host of information yesterday and the piece that comes closest to what I need is one by Jennifer Jensen that talks about developing narrative voices and actually has a selection of  Character Voice Writing Exercises
So, I’ll be busy trying to find this man’s voice without driving myself nuts in the process.

Wish me luck!

Now on to the Crusade...

I came across what sounds like a worthwhile and fun exercise through Misha, who dropped by yesterday.  Thanks, Misha! If you don’t know about the Second Writers’ Platform-Building Crusade and you could use some help getting connected with other writers and building a platform, you should check it out.  The Crusade will run from February 1st to April 30th, so you have lots of time to get involved and get connected.

See you there!

35 comments:

  1. I love 'twin' stories and I've known many twins in my life (including identical). In spite of some similarities and that 'connection', it's amazing how different they can be in personality/likes/dislikes. I'm a true believer of behavioral genetics, but also of environmental/experience related influences.

    Twin psychology is very interesting!

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  2. Rula,

    I have some research material to do with twins, but I know it's not nearly enough. I think I'm also shying away from this story because of the issues with this particular twin, in that he was given up for adoption. There's no avoiding it - I'll also have to wrap my head around more research.

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  3. Hello, thank you for visiting my blog. I enjoyed reading about your thinking on your project. I also went over to your other blog. I appreciated your reviews and will be dropping by there, too, on a regular basis.

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  4. Thanks, Barb. I appreciate the visit. Do stick around. :)

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  5. It's so important to get to know our characters so we can write their true voices.

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  6. Cool links. I'm already part of the crusade but I'm interested in reading about voice.

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  7. True, Linda, and I want to get really comfortable before I take on that novel again.

    Clarissa, I realized that I needed to get beyond the regular articles and definition of 'voice' to get a handle on what I'm trying to do.

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  8. My grandfather and great-uncle are identical twins (and were on sister Navy ships in WWII), so it's nice to know you're figuring out how to represent them with different voices. You'd be surprised how many twin stories have them thinking alike all the time, with mirror actions. You seem to have the right idea! While my grandpa and his twin look alike and have many common interests, and that special bond where they seem to know what the other thinks, parts of their personalities are totally opposite.

    The Crusade thing you mentioned sounds like fun. Gonna go check it out after this post.

    (You're so lucky in sunny Jamaica, while I'm up to my elbows in slushy snow :) )

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  9. Tina,
    Tina,

    Good to know I'm on the right track with the twins. Gotta see what interesting differences I can throw into the story for both men.

    Do have a look-see at the Crusade page.

    We're having cloudy skies and tiny showers, but that's a whole lot better than being cold all the time. :)

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  10. HI JL,

    Thank you for visiting my blog. I totally get the comment you left on it regarding voice. I think your idea about reading the earlier novel is a great idea. That way you will immerse yoourselfe in what made the character tick in the first place.

    Most important thing to always to do first of course is to try your best and get it written. Changes and elements of voice can be added later.

    DUO

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  11. DUO,

    I really want to get this book written. It's about time and while I'm not working on it, the story keeps hanging out at the back of my mind, telling me I should start writing again.

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  12. Ohh voices! They are so hard to not only get but maintan through out. I'm a fellow crusader and I have twins. But they're fraternal and have no special connections. See ya around the crusades.

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  13. Yup, consistency is another challenge after hitting the right voice.

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  14. Voice can be so challenging. Good luck! Persistence is the key, right? : )

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  15. Thanks. I definitely have to stick with this until I get this guy's voice exactly right.

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  16. Hey J.L., welcome to the Crusade! Lovely to have you on board, can't wait to get to know you :)

    Hugs,

    Rach

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  17. Thanks, Rachael,

    I'm looking forward to participating. I've met some great people already.

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  18. My sister-in-laws are twins, and they're characters alright. Good luck!

    Nikki

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  19. Hey J.L.! Just popping back in to let you know you won a book at my blog :). Congrats!

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  20. Cooooool! Thanks! I never win anything. I'm coming right over!

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  21. Good luck with finding your mc's voice! And I'm looking forward to getting to know you better through the Crusade!

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  22. Thanks, Susan. Same here with regards to getting to know you.

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  23. Hey fellow crusader!

    Voice is so hard. Thanks for the links and good luck on finding the heart of the voice you're seeking!

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  24. Hi, Fellow, Crusader...

    How fun is this hopping around to new friends?

    Voice is very hard to keep consistent. Being aware is half the battle.

    Good luck,

    Michael

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  25. Thanks for stopping in, Micheal, and for your good wishes. Yes, it is good to meet new people.

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  26. Hello, what a lovely looking blog. I'm looking foward to reading all about you.

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  27. Hello, fellow crusader!! This is a beautiful blog you have going here! Look forward to getting to know you better =)

    (p.s. I squeed at you actually using the badge. Thanks! =D)

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  28. Hello to you too. You got talent! I know a lot more folks will be using the badge soon.

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  29. Wow. You seem to have a lot more followers over here than you did at WP.

    I don't have a problem with finding voice, that comes pretty naturally to me, but sometimes the voice will evolve and the character will end up different than what I originally thought, so I have to go back and change the first couple chapters.

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  30. Hey, Courtney,

    I've had to go from scratch re-connecting with people. I'm also part of the crusade I wrote about above.

    I'm trying to save myself some work by getting Phillip's voice right before I move forward.

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  31. Love your blog colors and the flower off to the side here, very cool! Thanks for visiting my blog.☺ I look forward to getting to know you better through the awesome crusades!
    Your story sounds cool! And I need to leave myself a note to come back when I have time to read some of your older posts, they look really interesting.

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  32. Thanks, Amanda,

    I'm a sucker for backgrounds/wall paper. Glad you found some stuff of interest here.

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