I've talked several times in the past that my real gateway into "traditional" fantasy was David Eddings. One of the complaints laid against him, which is a pretty fair complaint, is that all his characters talk with the same voice, have the same sense of humor. Certainly this phenomenon increases as you go later in his career. Books like Regina's Song or The Redemption of Althalus have a core group of six or so characters who are all, more or less, the same person talking to themselves.
How do you avoid falling into this trap? How do you give each character a distinctive voice?
of how I deal with that is going back to my playwriting and acting
roots. Every character in the scene is going to have a different
motivation, a different interpretation of what was going on. I had to
approach writing each character as if a different actor was going to
tackle each one.
Now, I'm never one for selecting a specific actor
for a character. Well, that's not entirely true. Part of my early
process involves coming through headshots to find faces that match the
one in my head, give myself a reference. Never a "famous" actor. I
wouldn't want to let that infiltrate my process.
Keeping those things in mind keeps the interplay between the characters from being just an echo chamber of my voice bouncing around the room.
How about you? How do you keep your voices distinctive?
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Perils of the Writer: Rooms Full of Echoes
Posted by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Labels: Marshall Ryan Maresca
Marshall Ryan Maresca is a Fantasy and Science Fiction Novelist, as well as a playwright, living in South Austin with his wife and son. He is the author of the Maradaine Novels:
The Thorn of Dentonhill, A Murder of Mages , The Alchemy of Chaos, An Import of Intrigue , The Holver Alley Crew, The Imposters of Aventil , Lady Henterman's Wardrobe , The Way of the Shield (October 2018) and A Parliament of Bodies (March 2019).
His work also appeared in Norton Anthology of Hint Fiction and Rick Klaw’s anthology Rayguns Over Texas. He also has had several short plays produced.
Visit his website at mrmaresca.com