By this point you should have a character with the following:
- A Name
- A Personality
- A Background
- Human Traits
- Loads of random but possibly essential details
In this part you will learn how to create a unique voice and bring your characters to the writers table.
Creating A Unique Voice
We’re not necessarily talking accents here. Writing accents can be very tricky, I have only read a few really good ones and I’ve written none (though I have attempted it, the feedback was painful).
I tend to stick to the more popular voice writing, this is what we’re talking about here.
Making the voices unique to each character by how they say things, the way they say it, and what they talk about.
First off, throw proper grammar out the window. No one speaks in professional terms these days, well, not unless your character is a lawyer or an old English professor, or Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Common folk don’t speak in long-winded sentences, sometimes they start in the middle of sentences. We speak as we please. Write it the way your character would speak it. This opens up doors like;
- This character starts most of their conversations with ‘because’.
- This character says ‘like’ and ‘uh’ constantly.
- This character responds to everything with ‘K’.
- This character drawls on in ye olde English and throws in lines of poetry.
- This character is brash and straight to the point, always using sharp words.
- This character beats around the bush, never making a straight point.
- This character repeatedly says ‘I am Groot.’ (I love that guy!)
- What does your character say?
- Do they have any favourite words they always use?
- Do they swear in English?
- Do they have a bank of sarcasm and wit?
Have a go on worksheet 6.
At the Writers Table
This is a fun one to do if you ever have writers’ block. Get your characters to help you, not only will it let you write with each individual voice and personality, it will help you lay your plot down.
Here’s the idea;
- Get all your characters in a room, one big circular table in the middle. You sit at the top of the table, tell your characters the problem, ask them for ideas. Get your characters to respond with plot ideas from their point of view.
- Try it now. If you only have the one character, write a conversation of you talking to that character, don’t forget to include their personality.
- Keep the idea in mind for when you need it.
At the Writers Table – Outlaws.
The following a random piece I wrote when I was stuck one night. It give you the general idea of what I was saying here. Look out for Ruth’s carefree personality, Priestleys’ protectiveness, BGs Darkness, Matts cheekiness and Kazs’ mutual understanding with John.
With such a short piece there’s not a lot in there, at the same time it is packed with little personality details. This was written without much thought after all these characters had been in four books.
Me: Okay guys. I’ve got the prologue, I’ve got you two coming home, I’ve got Ruth’s events and I’ve got Priestley going to America, but I want something bad to happen before he does so Kaz has to convince him to go.
Priestley: What am I doing in America?
Me: Visiting Zita and inviting her and the runners to the get together we’re having at the end of the book.
Ruth: I’m really looking forward to that.
Me: Yes, but we’re not working on that right now. Come on, think.
Kaz: So we’re Echoes by then, yes? A job?
Priestley: We wouldn’t take a job off the bat especially if I’m going to America, we work together.
Kaz: Whenever you need something bad, it’s going to happen to me. Is BG involved?
Me: I don’t know yet.
Matt: You’re just that good at getting in trouble, girl. I vote Kaz gets attacked, but nothing too serious, just enough to put us all on edge.
Me: Well, I’ve thought of a comic con thing, a few different ideas there, the truck idea came back to me.
John: I like that one, it’s smooth.
Me: A sniper shot, being followed, Priestley getting out the car for coffee and someone else getting in the car and driving off.
Matt: Save that. It could be used elsewhere.
Me: Nothing is fitting.
John: How about a phone call?
Kaz: I get where he’s going with this.
BG: Ring ring
Kaz: Hang on, let me get this. Hey.
BG: …. Nope I’m at a loss, I don’t want to be giving away my identity, and she’s going to know my voice – it’s a good idea though.
Me: Head hits table. Okay the high rise in Manchester.
BG: You want to bring that in this early? You’ve already destroyed my first base.
Me: We could use that room with the photos.
Priestley: Aren’t I supposed to be in America when you do that?
Me: Maybe you haven’t left yet. Kaz is doing a favour for Matt – she’s going into the high rise cause that’s where the boys’ paper trail has lead them – she doesn’t tell Priestley ’cause its a dangerous jump she has to pull off to get in there. She has a go pro on, that the others are following. Hell breaks loose inside – she finds the victim and finds trouble, and the others call the police as they go in to rescue her.
Matt: Then we have the hanging thing that you love so much, and Kaz wants to kill me over.
Priestley: And I’m nearby to go and save the day and show my presence that you’re so concerned about keeping in.
John: And Kaz ends up outside, put there by the cops who are keeping their distance from her because of her attitude, the victim goes outside and she works at calming her down. Afterall they have something in common.
BG: And my victim can deliver the message, I’ll probably find a spot to carve it into her.
Matt: That’s’ cold, BG. As far as the news is concerned, we’ve rescued a would be victim of a serial killer that’s been around for a bit – Kaz is the peoples hero once again.
BG: Serial killer starts sending notes and becomes all creepy throughout the series.
Priestley: This is all well and good but if you do this – what you going to do about the climax?
All of us…..
Me: Let me think on this some more.
Get the idea?
By the way, I love these writers table stories. I’ve come across many of them in my time as a writer. If you have one that you want to share, I will happily read. They are lots of fun.
If enough people comment below wishing to share I shall create a page on this website with sharing the stories from the writers table as a sole purpose.
Let me know what you think below.
I hope you enjoyed this training! I have many more to come. If there is something specific you think would benefit from having a course like this one let me know in the comments section below.