How do you find your character's voice? You've heard it all over town, the voice in writing is like, uber-important. So how do you find yours?
I know some authors who stew and stew before penning a single word. Others produce draft after draft of outlines. I seriously don't know how they do that. I can't even produce a single draft of an outline. Still others make notes, outline and stew all before writing. I've seen character sheets and talked about character bibles before. I've read blog after blog where these people contribute all this "behind the scenes" writing to the success of their actual writing.
I wish I was one of them.
Sadly, I am not. I don't do any of those things.
So how do I find my character's voice?
Simply put: I write.
It comes. Sometimes if the character is fully formed in my mind, I know exactly what they'll say, how they'd react to almost anything, the whole nine yards. But if I don't stew and make notes, how is the character fully formed in my mind? Yeah, wouldn't you like to get inside my head. *snarfage*
Well, sometimes--and don't tell anyone--I base my characters on actual, living, breathing people. Bam! Fully formed characters ready to talk and walk and be put through major drama in printed form.
If I don't have a fully formed character in my head, I still write. Usually their character, their "voice" comes through, especially when I write dialog. This sometimes happens in the beginning (in Control Issues, I "knew" Vi when I wrote the second chapter--the scene in the courtroom). Sometimes this doesn't happen until later. Then I have to go back and make sure that the earlier writing is in line with the correct character, the correct "voice".
Some might argue that I should take more time up front to work out these "kinks". Yeah, argue that if you want. But I am the unconventional writer. I don't do no stinking character sheets. I write to find my characters, my stories, my voice.
How do you find your character's voice? (And there's nothing wrong with doing character sheets. Don't hit me with mean comments! I love character sheets...for someone else.)