Voices in My Head

There was a new, or at least new to me, Jesse Stone movie on tonight. I genuinely enjoy the writing. I spend most of my time either writing or thinking about writing and while I was watching the movie something jumped out at me. The dialogue, which I love, seems to be rather similar between characters.

One of the suggestions I’ve read about character dialogue is that one should be able to remove the character names and the author should be able to tell who was speaking. You might say that would be easy, but you’d be surprised. It seems natural that a writer would remember which character said what, but it isn’t. Well, it isn’t for me. It is my nature to speak a certain way. I try to mix it up for my characters, but I don’t do a terrific job. Bobby, he has his own voice, but the rest of them are pretty interchangeable. The truth is that dialogue is hard.

I’ve not read any of the Jesse Stone books. I bet I’d like them, but I also am guessing that the characters tend to have the same cadence, vocabulary, and witty comeback, regardless who is speaking. Again, I love the writing, but I’m trying to make a point. I’m not sure what that point is though, I’m sure I was making one. It just seems like the area of the blog post where I might like to include some sort of wisdom. Oh well.

I guess it is mostly just an evening of me rambling. I probably need to go back and read some more Elmore Leonard. His characters certainly have their own voice. It is brilliant the way he builds them and weaves their personalities into the stories.

People who give writing advice are always saying develop your own voice, but I think they should actually be telling us to develop our own voices. It seems like one should be able to craft people with different texture to their lives and demonstrate it through their speech. I think the 3rd person voice should be my own, but the character voice needs to be varied. I’m going to work on that.

Last night I worked until 4:30 am building my list of places to submit my short story. Today, I gave it one more read through and polished it a little more. I may read it aloud, one time, just to be sure I’ve got it right, but then off it goes.

There is a lot to writing and thus far I enjoy most of it. Even the editing is no longer something I dread. Learning the language of the magazines is just my latest and I admit to a certain level of uneasiness at the unknown. I imagine it will go away once I’ve hit send… or it will make me sick to my stomach. Either way it will be a leap forward in my adventure.

That is all for tonight. Have a fabulous week. Eat some bacon.