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October 17, 2008

Comments

Nicole

Definitely true, Mark. You create a character with a voice of his/her own. You hear how they speak, how they pause, the phrases they use.

I've read some bad dialogue in novels. No contractions, stilted speech. They aren't hearing how people talk.

Heather

I think I learned a lot from music--from going to Broadway shows and writing musicals. There's something about the cadence. You have to work to make it sound natural yet still have a beat.
I also usually have a person in mind to whom my character is similar. Not the same, but perhaps they'd have the same lettering on Meyers-Briggs. Then I go through and think, would my husband really say that? Would my friend really do that?
Of course, no one realizes how many lines I've stolen from conversations or eavesdropping on conversations. Sometimes I think writing's more about thievery than creativity.

sally apokedak

Good thoughts.

I would add "reading a lot" to the mix, because you can imitate the voices in books as well as the voices of people you know. I guess that's how characters become cliche, but I still think if you read great books, your writing will improve.

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