Defining Your Character’s Voice

True Story: I Woke Up One Morning and My Voice Was Gone

The day I realized I lost my voice, wasn’t initially traumatic because I didn’t know the significance of it at the time. It hit me months later when I couldn’t write for sh*t. And of course, I’m not talking about my actual voice, but that voice inside that defines who I am and how I operate. For me, as a writer, that voice also inspires me with stories and ideas that I would often draft out.

And here we are… 

I woke from a drug-induced sleep (calm down guys, I took cold medicine before sleeping), went into the shower, and there she was. I found myself whispering “she’s back,” after the voice inside was going on and on with all these ideas and stories. So, I immediately hopped out the shower (yes I’m still wet right now) and began writing this. 

A year filled with new mommy-frenzies, relationship fiascos, financial struggles, and the difficulties of being a college student stripped my voice away piece by piece. Losing your voice can happen to anyone for any number of reasons.

Why You Should Define Your Character’s Voice

As a writer, if you realize that you’re having a difficult time crafting your character’s personalities, antics, and physical movements, then it may be because you’re having a hard time defining your voice as a person– but there are ways to help you craft your character even during the darkest times in your life.

It’s tough to craft other people when you don’t have a firm grasp of yourself. Defining your character’s voice is more significant than drafting different dialogue. Imagine speaking at a self-worth conference when you have no idea who your voice is or what your worth is? It’d be pretty damn hypocritical, right? And I’m sure people will see right through you.

The importance of your voice, your character’s voice, HELL– anyone’s voice, extends the significance of one’s dialogue. This is because a person’s voice isn’t just the words that are spoken, it’s the way we think before speaking. Our inner voice controls our mood, movement, and how we present ourselves. It’s the way we narrate our lives on a continuous cycle. 

Without that voice, who are we? Without our voice, who are we as writers to define someone else’s voice– even if they’re nonexistent?

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