not as far, but as good

this morning i didn’t get much farther in the revision, page-wise, but i cracked the voice of a character that has remained problematic from the beginning, checking off one of the remaining ‘bug list’ items from my revision list. that said, it embarrasses me to say this, but i realized i was trying to pigeon-hole him into a cliche.*

now, i’ve realized/accepted/discovered his true voice. he is a secondary character, but one with a pivotal role. the role doesn’t change, nor does this impact the course of events. in a sense, all it really does is affect how he speaks, but, for me, the difference between a story with characters who talk like individuals, and one where everyone talks like everyone else, is huge.

i find this most evident in passages of dialogue where i am forced to count back the statements to figure out who is saying which line, because neither character has a distinct voice. of course, sometimes this is the point, but i generally find it more interesting if i can actually ‘hear’ the character in the words he or she uses.

on the other hand, i think common phraseology indicates common experience, so finding the line between achieving individual tone and creating an exaggeration solely to indicate difference, is sometimes harder than it seems.


* i don’t know which is more embarrassing, that i was doing this, or that i didn’t realize it.