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Thread: The Writing Critique Megathread (1000 words or less)

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by zizi View Post
    What a good thread! Also can I suggest that writers can ask for critique of stuff they want to work on specifically, so that critics may focus more in-depth on that subject?

    Lord knows my character's voices need extensive work (as they tend to all be rather similar), and whilst I am sure there are many, many other weaknesses in my writing I find if I concentrate all my effort on one place it improves faster than if I try to fix everything all at once.
    A character's style of speaking is an extension of the character's personality. A character's vocabulary is effected by by the vocabulary that the character has been exposed too (vocabulary in the home when the character was growing up, books that the character has read, people that the character has interacted with often... ). A character's etiquette and demeanor is also influenced by all of the above, and training (self-taught or professional training), because it also involves body language.

    Think about a character's personality. Does the character like to get to the point? The character's dialog may be short, and to the point. Is the character impatient? How does the character deal with something that tests its patience? How would the character speak? Does the character have weak self-confidence? would the character be apologetic because it sees it sees itself as being at fault?

    Using a character's dialog as an extension of the character's personality is good step to take first. Think about the reasons behind the character's actions, the personality that is displayed by those actions, and how that personality would be portrayed through the character's words.

  2. #12
    One Thousand Member Matt's Avatar
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    ADVICE

    Just yesterday, I made up an exercise that really helped me with character voices.

    I wrote in my character's names and basic description of what their voice would be like:
    Naomi: Playful, yet intelligent.
    Miola: Somewhat archaic, polite and optimistic.
    Peter: Elaborate and concrete, but long-winded.
    Fweo: Blunt and brief.
    After that, I presented a question and had each of them answer it in their own voice:
    1. How do you feel about the democratic revolution?
    Naomi: "Honestly, no one has any idea how to run a democracy. We should have waited until it was more stable before adopting it."
    Miola: "It's as good an idea as any, though I find myself agreeing with my sister. Waiting another five years may have been prudent."
    Peter: "While it's true that the current system is unstable, that's why there's such an emphasis on education now. Anyone who can pay for it can be educated in politics, math, science, language, and philosophy. The goal is to append our knowledge with facts using resources only a formal classroom can supply."
    Fweo:"It worked. We're a democracy."
    Of course, if you do something like this, you should use more than one question.
    Last edited by Matt; 10-17-2012 at 03:15 PM. Reason: Forgot the first line tag

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    ADVICE
    Of course, if you do something like this, you should use more than one question.
    And maybe have the characters speaking to each other, and write each character's reaction to each other in the conversation.

  4. #14
    One Thousand Member Matt's Avatar
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    Good idea. Character voice is such an important part of writing, I'm surprised I didn't start working on it earlier. Better late than never, though.

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