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Voices in my Head

There are a thousand voices in my head, they're all talking and arguing and trying to find their way on to my paper without permission. What this really comes down to is that I'm having trouble defining one voice from the muck and din of the rest. They all have something to say and they all think their opinion is more important than anyone else, so how do I separate them from my own voice and give them their own life?

The trouble with characters is that sometimes they fall into the trap of talking with my voice instead of their own. I see the big picture, I see both sides of the story and everyone's entitlement, but they're not supposed to. My characters aren't supposed to be able to see the greater scheme of things. How do I edit out my politically-correct, all-knowing voice and leave only the character that's supposed to be doing the thinking and talking?

Lately I've been trying to do a character sketch when I sit down to write - who is this person I'm writing about? Am I going to write in his or her voice? OR am I going to write in my own voice with the character as an actor, changing voices only when he or she speaks? What's their background, their family and history like? What kinds of phrases do they typically say and how do they say those things...

Does anyone have any character development tricks? How do you start creating dialogue for a person? And are your characters static? or are they dynamic, constantly changing how and what they think about things? I find my biggest fear is that one of my friends or family will read what I've written and see themselves...is that silly or do other writers feel that way too?

Comments

First of all, stop thinking so much, Ferous. Writing comes from you, the things you see, and the people you talk to. Don't try to put leashes on characters. If they come out similar to a loved one, so what? The better you know that person, the better you know your character; and I guaruntee you the majority of people (especially family and friends) are honored to be included in a writer's piece.

As for making an original character, don't force it. Really good characters create themselves. Just write and see where the pen/pencil/keys take them. It may help to start with a few simple questions such as: What is my character's greatest fear? What is his character flaw? Where did he come from? Where is he going? Why is he going there? Does he have any quirks or odd mannerisms?- You know, things like that.

And the voices, I can only think of four things to do. The most difficult is focus on one voice; listen to what it says, and try your best to ignore all the others.
Use your inner dialouge to your advantage and write the conversations your voices hold.
Or Write the voices out. Just keep writing and writing nonstop until your internal characters are worn out (you may get a good piece of writing from this as well)
What I would try to do (but some people may find strange which is how I like it) is just write however you want. If your thoughts jump all ver the place, fine, make your writing do the same. Maybe that's just the kind of writer you are. I thinks it's a unique and interesting way of writing and could come out great.

If none of this helped, all I have left to say is, "always write."
 
It does help childatheart! Especially focusing on one particular trait or quality of the character...Perhaps I can pull the rest of the personality based on knowing some of those small facts. Sometimes, just when I think I have my character nailed down, with his/her own personality, someone else seems to creep in - but like you said, maybe that's okay...isn't that what really happens, in real life? Like, I'm sitting here thinking how great it would be to up and run away from everything, but then my mother's voice fogs up my brain with her reasonable arguments...
And this:
What I would try to do (but some people may find strange which is how I like it) is just write however you want. If your thoughts jump all ver the place, fine, make your writing do the same. Maybe that's just the kind of writer you are. I thinks it's a unique and interesting way of writing and could come out great.
doesn't sound strange, it sounds beautiful. Maybe I need to give up the control...
Thanks childatheart!!
 
No problem, Ferous. You have no idea how much I love writing so it feels great to help someone. Let me know if you have any more problems?
 

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