Tag Archive - voice

Staying in Character: The Convergence of POV and Voice

We’re wrapping up our look this month into Fatal Flaw #5: POV Violations. And there are many. POV “rules” aren’t hard to follow once you understand them. The trick is to keep in mind that when you’re in POV, you can only see, think, hear, and feel what through the senses of that one character. Anything that veers out of POV is a violation. 

Today editor Robin Patchen delves into the POV violation involving characters’ voices.

Jane Austen’s books are all written in the same voice—hers. And we love them. But twenty-first century authors can’t write the way Jane Austen did because modern readers have different expectations. Today’s readers look for books written from deep point of view, and in deep point of view, not only are author voices different, character voices are too.

Did you ever watch the TV show Frasier? There’s a scene where his new girlfriend invites him to go antiquing with her. Kelsey Grammer’s character responds, “I’m not one of those people for whom antique is a verb.” A funny line, but it tells us something—Frasier Crane’s writers knew who he was. Do you know who your characters are?  Continue Reading…

Fine-Tuning Your Writing Style to be Concise and Specific

In our first post exploring this eleventh pillar of novel construction—Writing Style . . . Concise and Specific—we looked briefly at what is involved with having a specific style. What this means, essentially, is being deliberate about our writing style—choosing certain qualities or characteristics that fit the genre we are writing in. Genre influences the way we construct sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. It influences our word choices and how we stylize inner and outer dialog, and narrative. And it influences our tone.

More Tips on Being Specific

Part of fine-tuning your writing style to be specific is making sure it carries the proper tone throughout your book. What is tone? This post here gives an in-depth look at tone, and I encourage you to read it. It will help you understand the difference between the overall tone of your book (which relates very strongly, once again, to genre) and the voices of your characters, as well as their moods. Continue Reading…

Important Considerations When Developing Your Writing Style

Our year-long look at the twelve key pillars of novel construction is winding down. We’ve already taken an in-depth look at the first ten pillars, with the bulk of examination on the four corner pillars: Concept with a Kicker, Conflict with High Stakes, Protagonist with a Goal, and Theme with a Heart.

I stressed that novelists should spend a good amount of time first working on these crucial support pillars of their novel, preferably all at once in a holistic fashion. I find that brainstorming ideas for all four, focusing on how they connect, is the best way. For, each of these four components of a novel heavily depend upon the others.

The eight support pillars will vary in terms of importance based on your genre and premise and plot. So, while one novel may have little in the way of motifs, for example, another will feature them heavily. Some of this is also determined by writing style and personal taste. Continue Reading…

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