Well, step one took a while, but it was worth it. now I know that all of my adult characters sound very much alike. I’ve done the first round of revisions requested by my editor and I explained what I wanted to do with the voices. She thought it was a good idea.
So here I go.
I’ve done really well with the child and the older Black cop, and the southern gentleman.
The child, Wile, was pretty easy. I remember being a child in the south. I’m working on: ain’t, gonna, ever body, ever where. And using very simple word choices.
For the Black cop, Russell Coleman, I took the language I originially wrote–which was my voice–and changed a lot of words to something more simple, like: averted his gaze= looked away; meditated=thought on it; beneath=under. Then I peppered in a few southern words: fixing to; tote; ornery; ruckus; no count; polecat.
For the southern gentleman, Trey Fontaine, I left the bigger words as listed above, but added: yes, ma’am, no, ma’am, much obliged. I want to do more with him, but haven’t decided what.
Now I’m dealing with a 35 yr old white female, Gemini Taylor, who has spent half her life in south Louisiana and the other half in Dallas, TX. She’s a cop. I’ve tried making most of her sentences very short, as if she’s always in a hurry. I don’t like the sound of it. It sounds choppy. Maybe it’s supposed to. But I tend to write longer sentences, broken up by a short one here and there. Mostly short sentences certainly doesn’t sound like me.
I hope everyone who reads this article will send me at least one idea on how to create voice.
In the future I plan to do articles on the town and each of the characters in my book, so I hope you’ll stick with me.