Crafting voice for your characters.
Narration through setting and literary devices play a big role in establishing voice for your characters. In Trankarri – The Boy with a Magical Pen we can do a character study of:
Tick and Tock
Olan and Ingvil
The narration and setting that surrounds Nathaniel at least in the beginning is about imagination, adventure, curiosity, and even some bravery and I established that through his experience in the woods, at PaPa’s and as he enters inkworld. Because I went to great lengths to lay the foundation of his character this way through the rest of the book I don’t need the added use of adverbs to show how he feels or thinks about any one thing. It is implied in his character.
The narration that surrounds Tick and Tock is altogether quirky. Here I use several different literary devices that make the sentences and paragraphs pop with obscenity and that not in a vulgar sense but in goofy, almost impossible way, because normal people just don’t talk the way they do and so as the narrator of the story I can help give voice to them by changing the verbiage and tempo in all the supporting literary devices.
The narration that surrounds Olan and Ingvill is one of setting. I went to great lengths to describe their cabin and way of life through certain literary devices and this helps tremendously in giving them their own voice. This is important because when it comes to dialogue I don’t have to use added adverbs to tell how they talk or what emotion they’re feeling because the set up is so rich in detail that I can skip all the lazy adverbs that is completely overused in today’s literature.
When adverbs are used to describe the emotion of dialogue it is because the set up for the dialogue is weak. Weak and lazy writing always yields to the use of more adverbs. Strong and intentional writing has in it the emotion and voice that you want to portray thus adding individuality to each character.
Remember that when you are thinking about your characters. You can, as the narrator, speed up or slow down and use literary devices and setting to help craft voice for your characters.