It’s on the list of primary things to do when I’m bored out of my freakin mind. Like really, the site is boundless. I’ve found helpful stuff anywhere from bullet journal tips to checklists, to inspiring quotes, even to random screenshots of Tumblr posts that inspire bits of dialogue for my wips.
God bless it, it’s a goldmine.
Here’s just some of the many things I’ve found there recently:
Because, I mean, it may not be the worst thing to do in writing–one of my biggest thoughts in writing is that rules are made to be broken–it’s good to use a variety of words, and get your point across in as few words as possible. And, y’know, “petrified” sounds a little more exciting to me than “very scared.”
And while writing well is sometimes about breaking all the rules, there actually are some pretty good tips in this next one. I’m personally an advocate for reading your writing out loud (not just dialogue, even) to make sure it sounds natural. And also, about similar voices? From what I’ve discovered in my writing journey thus far, it doesn’t have to be a lot. You don’t have to overdo it, I don’t think–I mean, your characters are most likely speaking the same language, right? So naturally, they’re gonna use a lot of the same words and expressions (given the time period and culture you write them into). But, it could be as simple as whether your character decides to greet someone by saying “sup?” or “how do you do this fine day?” I mean, it’s also gonna have a lot to do with who they’re speaking to (like, you probably wouldn’t say “how’s it goin’, dude?” to your professor. Or maybe you would… IDK), but I digress.
Some of the simplest ways I’ve used to differentiate the way my characters talk are how much they talk (River is shy and uses lots of short, like two- or three-worded sentences, while Ginger has about a gazillion run-on sentences and speaks in a flowy manner), some favorite words they use, their “word of the day” if you will (Dayna is kinda addicted to saying “whatevs”), whether they have a tendency to be sarcastic or serious (anyone who’s read my debut Forget Me knows that my darling Sabine has a tongue of fire). But the reality of it is that creating distinct character voices all stems back to creating distinct characters.
The reality of it is that creating distinct character voices all stems back to creating distinct characters.
This is a nice list to have and fall back on. Yes, I’ve had times where I knew exactly what I wanted my characters to be doing whilst having an important conversation, things like throwing a football around, walking down an empty backroad to get somewhere else, or even slow dancing at a prom, to name a few completely random, off-the-top-of-my-head examples. But then there have been times that I knew I had to write a tough conversation but had no idea where it should take place, or how to break up the moments of intense dialogue and allow for some pause, or even a way to incorporate body language and have it seem natural in the context of the situation (a person can only smooth over their hair so many times…). And so this is a helpful list here. It has fifty ideas, but I can see future me listing out a few ideas of my own to keep handy.
How could I end this post without including a quote?
Because it’s better to truly enjoy and take pride in what you write, even if few or none read it, than attempt to make a career out of trying to please everyone and saying what they’d like to hear. Hell, if I wanted to do that, I could become a politician. Stay in retail where “the customer is always right,” (btw, they’re NOOOOOOT). Or basically just any other job that requires me to sell a portion of my soul and dissociate just to get through.
I guess what I’m (and the quote is, for that matter) saying is that you should write to make YOU happy. The goal of your story doesn’t have to be to change the world or anything like that, BUT if you write with the authenticity you could only accomplish by writing for yourself? Well, you just might.
Until next time, my lovelies,
So, what’d ya think of this post? I’m considering making it a regular (or semi-regular) installment. Btw, if you liked this post, be sure to follow me on Pinterest! Because I sure do pin a lot of stuff. Little-known fact: while I only have about six of my boards set to public right now, I have about a hundred secret boards (not even an exaggeration, I wish it were… *quiet sobbing*) that I’m cultivating. Most of them are story boards that I don’t feel completely ready to share/don’t want to have spoil the stories before they even come out. But they will show their faces on my account eventually… and I’m pretty sure you’ll love the heck out of them. In the meantime, I’ll probably pin a bunch of cool stuff to my public ones (and perhaps create a few more public boards to make it an even ten).