Monday, October 21, 2013

NaNoWriMo Preparation: Day 4 of 14

We All Have Voices Inside Us!

Who are you? What Do you want?

Today you need to pull your thoughts towards finding your main character. Is it a he? She? It? You need to spend quality time figuring out the important details.

What are you looking for? Good question. I’m so glad you asked.

You need to find your main character’s VOICE. No matter which point of view (POV) you are using you have got to find your main character’s voice. What does it feel like? How do you know when you’ve found it?

You are going to rummage through your thoughts, your memories, your family, coworkers, maybe your favorite tv or movie actor/actresses. You are going to sift through a bunch of pictures maybe. I can’t promise those methods won’t help you. They just might. Each person is different. But their voice….you must find within you.

Start easy…small. Choose a sex or whatever distinguishing attribute that separates it in your head. Then look for a name. (Sometimes the name doesn’t always come immediately. Othertimes it will.) Sometimes you will choose a name and then figure out 15K words in that Clara was always meant to be Becky. Or even better…Clara was always meant to be Dimitri. LOL All I’m saying is don’t stress so much over a name.

Next start feeling your way around and try to pick up on your characters quirks. Do they always wear heels? Must they always sneeze loudly. Do they pick their nose when nobody is looking? Do they work in a school but secretly hate kids? These things will help you find your character’s voice SOMETIMES.

Another thing to look for is what their  problem is. Or what their secret is. Or who they are hiding from, running from. What is their dream? These things help build your character but most importantly it will lead you towards ‘hearing’ them.

When you seek your character out in these little activities you are HOPEFULLY going to FINALLY ‘hear’ your character speak to you. It could be something you consider insignificant. You might hear your character say “I hate tacos but he always brings them. It drives me crazy!”  THAT IS THEIR VOICE. Cling to it…let it grow on you. Ask your character…why does it drive you crazy? See what they say.

I hadn’t decided yet whether I was going to participate in this year’s challenge. I don’t have a story in mind yet…and I’m cutting it close (like last year!) But yesterday I woke up and while I was laying in bed I heard my character speak to me. All she said was ‘I’ve been running since before I could walk.” That was enough to tell me that there is a story somewhere inside me and she wants to tell it. Who she is, I don’t have a single clue. Why and who is she running from? I don’t have a single clue. But…I found my character’s VOICE. And now I just need to nudge it along.

I’d love to hear from you. How did you find your character’s VOICE? When did it happen?

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