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I Can't Believe They Just Said That...

 LadyDae (writing dialogue in her novel): Okay Laqiya. I want you to say this...

Laqiya: Yes LadyDae

LadyDae: And then you say that...

Laqiya: Yes LadyDae

LadyDae: And then I want you to say this...

Laqiya: Can we hurry up now?

That's how passive and obedient my character was before I finally found her voice just recently as I revamped my novel. Just now finding the voice of  my main character got me thinking about characterization. I had one heck of a time finding the voice of my main character. All the other characters had such distinct voices, just not my MC... I did find her voice after I figured out that although she isn't the girl who faces trouble head on (Like Harry Potter), she definitely is the passive run away character who can't take care of herself (Bella from twilight comes to mind). She's somewhere in between. I'd call my character the type that sees trouble coming and does her best to kind of duck and dodge it, but when forced to face it throws down or something. Either way, once I figured that out, I was able to clearly hear the voice of my baby for the first time and it's going well.

But after finally finding her voice, it got me to thinking of the importance of characterization. How do you know when your character actually has character and a voice? You wouldn't believe the books and stories I've read where the writing was impressive and proper, but the character didn't stick out because there was a lack of voice and characterization and when it's lacking, stories and books like that read like bad fanfiction. A character's voice should be so distinct that you know he/she said it before you read who it was. It should be so that in a context of a reading, you know who spoke based on the way the response or reply came back. It's like a good actor. The screenwriter writes the script and give it to the actor. But the actor brings the lines to life and if he/she thinks the character wouldn't say that they tweak it. Same thing with writing. The characters start to get a mind of their own and start to write their own line and stories.

Is it easy?

Not at all, especially because everyone except other writers are going to think you have a split personality when you try to explain this. But once I managed to find her dominate trait, it shaped up my MC's voice. So now this is how the writing process goes when I'm giving her lines...

LadyDae: I want you to say this first.

Laqiya (tests the line): Okay.

LadyDae: And then you can say that

Laqiya (tests the line again): I don't mind saying that one though I'm going to tweak it.

LadyDae (glares at Laqiya): And then I want you to say this.

Laqiya: No way! I'd never say that.

LadyDae: How do you know? You're the character. I created. I know you better than anyone!

Laqiya: Then you know I'd never make that comment. That's some Isis would say. Maybe Adria, but certainly not me!

LadyDae: Laqiya!

Laqiya glares stubbornly.

Lady Dae (groans, deleting the line): Then how about this!

Laqiya: That's a little better, but it's closer to Chasity Pearl.

LadyDae (groans and gets up to take a break because Laqiya wants to do her own thing).

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