I’m not very good at hearing character’s voices in my head. They all sound a lot like my reading aloud voice. In Wanderlust, a lot of the dialogue is between my two main characters, Vanya and Taniel, who are both dudes. (Vanya is a legitimate diminutive form of the Russian name Ivan, if you were wondering. Taniel is a made-up nickname for Nathaniel.) I tend to enjoy movies and television shows about two dudes being best friends or brothers while solving crimes or ganking demons. Lately, I’ve been powering through Supernatural, a show whose main focus (besides ganking demons) is the relationship between the brothers Sam and Dean Winchester.
How does this relate to writing? Well, when I’m going through those scenes where it’s just Vanya and Taniel talking something out, I like to play a little game. I like to run a bro-check. I go through the scene, and imagine the television characters Sam and Dean reading the lines. (John and Sherlock work too, if Sherlock is my show of the week.) It’s a way to hear my writing in a different voice than the sounds-like-me voice that lives in my head. It helps me catch things, and figure out what sounds unnatural. Chances are if I can’t imagine a real human saying the line, then there’s something wrong with it. The bro-check also lets me test the dialogue against the built-in chemistry of the television characters, and gives me a sounding board for whether my dialogue is consistent with a brotherly relationship, or whether I’ve taken it too far. I have to keep it in perspective, of course. Sometimes I have to say, “Okay, Dean would never say that, but Taniel would.” Still, the bro-check is a useful trick in my toolbox. It helps keep the writing fun and interesting and allows me to catch things I might have otherwise missed, which is what editing is all about.
In the red: Manuscript is now marked up to page 47 of 138.
New Look: Have you noticed things look a little different around here? I switched themes, made a new banner, and purchased the custom upgrade so I can edit fonts and colors. I’m still tweaking things and learning CSS, so expect small changes over the next few weeks.
Hits: This blog is almost to 1,000 total hits. We should reach it within the next few days. Thank you, readers, so very much!