This week, I started revising my yellow WIP. My main character, Rowell, is very different from all of the other main characters that I’ve created, and I love getting into his mind. He’s a teenage boy who's got a chip on his shoulder that clouds his perception of everything around him. Yet there's something about him that affects the way that interacts with others, something he's not even aware of.
One of the main elements of this revision is focusing on voice. I've already got a bit of it within the story, but as I've delved into what really makes him tick, I've realized that I've sold him short. Rowell's personality is so clear that this draft has been one of the easiest to write.
I've read many articles on the importance on finding a characters voice. It can affect the tone of the story and the way that it reads. Consider the differences here between the first and second drafts:
Rowell dropped his book, startled by his father's voice. Lori shot him a guilty glance before scooting out and jumping up.
Rowell's head whipped up, and he flinched under Larzo's gaze. After a moment, he glared down at Lori. The little rat!
They're just small changes, but I can't help but smile with the second example. Probably because I can completely see him glaring down at his little sister. I have younger siblings, and I know what it's like when they tattle-tale.
Voice needs to feel natural. It needs to come from the character, rather than from the writer. Or maybe they should be working together to create it.
What do you think? Any advice on creating effective voice?