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First Person Tip (Posted: Jul 31)
Writing in someone else’s voice is certainly not an easy task. When I wrote ’29 Dimes’, I wanted to make the reader feel as though he or she was walking or sitting right beside the main characters, making the readers feel as though they were physically there “in the room” with the characters. When you’re writing your narrative in the first person, or from the character’s point of view, you’re pulling the reader closer to the character without them realizing it. It’s a way of bringing the reader deeper into the story and into the main characters’ consciousness.
When I was writing the thoughts and dialogue for the characters in ’29 Dimes’, I had to totally clear my brain of my own upbringing and thoughts, and then I began to briefly reprogram my brain and body to think, eat, drink, walk, and talk like Valerie, Pepe, Kalib, Teki, Tip, Brittany, and Ronnie, the seven colorful characters in ’29 Dimes’. I absolutely believe that you, as a writer, have to mentally walk in your characters’ shoes to get a sense of who they are and where they came from, which will help to better explain why they are currently in whatever predicament or situation you had written them into. Walking in your character’s shoes leads to great dialogue and character development because you are assuring the reader that “this voice” is not yours.
Writing the ’29 Dimes’ characters in the first person was an exciting and fun experience for me. If you haven’t tried this writing technique before then I certainly encourage and recommend that you do so. Writing voices from the first person perspective is a creative way to draw your readers right into your character’s living room. Keep writing! – Randolph Randy Camp
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