The Editing Diaries– The Importance of the Voices in My Head

Welcome to my series, The Editing Diaries!

In a nutshell, I’m editing my story LASER and bringing you guys along for the ride. I want you to see how my process for editing novels works (and maybe I’ll figure out my process with you). So, buckle your seatbelts, we’re going on a trip!


Okay, the title is slightly misleading. Because I’m not talking about “the voices” that authors usually refer to. In this instance, I am referring to character voices.

And that is also misleading, because I’m not talking about how unique a character sounds compared to other characters so you can tell a character’s POV.

 I should just explain this.

So, sometimes when I am writing, I will act out or roleplay a scene. This is more often than not just dialogue with minimal action, but it helps me figure out an argument or a character’s personality.

Eddie's opinion on One Day More (GIF) I am soooooo glad we are in agreement, sir.

Last Thursday (after I had done the last Editing Diaries post) I started to roleplay a bit of an argument. It was rather spontaneous (I was doing laundry) and also rather short.

But it was the last piece of the metaphorical puzzle that has been Nick’s personality. And it also occurred to me later, that I can’t remember ever having roleplayed Nick interacting (or at least arguing) with anyone before.

Maybe that was the problem the whole time.

Initially, when she hears she wasn't invited to Aurora's christening, she plays it cool.

So, good news is that I have finally figured out this character (*knocks on wood*) and you know how I did it and I know how I did it and Nick will probably stop being the center of attention of these posts.

Hearing the voices of my characters is important in bringing them to life. That’s why it’s important for me to roleplay or sometimes go get the mail just so I can talk to myself and figure them out.

Occasionally, my characters will also suggest new plot twists or even just new things to happen. And a lot of the time, I try to listen to them, because they often know better than I do.

But being the author means putting my foot down when they suggest something ridiculous. Even if it sounds like a really good idea at the time.

Treasure Planet gif.

…but you cannot kiss yet, my darlings. Tough luck. Give it a few more chapters.

But moving on, editing is going pretty well this week. Admittedly, I still have to finish this chapter that has been taking me a while to get right… (This chapter caused a lot of insecurity before. Trying to tighten it up and add some relevant plot bits.) But I think I have it figured out and editing is all sunshine and lollipops at the moment.

Note that I said at the moment. 

Music this week has pretty much been non-specific or non-existent. Peter Hollens Radio on Pandora. My Little Pony. Yeah, that’s about it.

This week’s post is pretty short, I know. But I have to go get ready for a family trip and I won’t be here on Friday or Saturday to write a longer Editing Diaries post.

So what about you, writers? Do any of you roleplay? And does it seem to be crucial to the development of your characters?

#books #work

14 thoughts on “The Editing Diaries– The Importance of the Voices in My Head

  1. Interesting post. I think role-playing can be an effective method of getting a handle on your characters’ voices and figuring out how they would respond to particular situations. For less imaginative people (myself included), bouncing ideas off of friends and family members can be just as effective.

    • Thanks.
      I actually have sort of the opposite problem. If I talk about my ideas to really anyone, I will lose interest in the ideas. But I do know a few people who can talk about their ideas all day and not have a problem. Two kinds of people, huh? 🙂

  2. Yay for figuring it out!

    Hmm. I don’t think I’ve ever really role-played any of my writing before, however it does sound like it’d be at least an entertaining way to figure out characters, hehe. I’m usually pretty boring with figuring characters out—I just send a ginormous email to one of my other writing friends, and ramble until either I come up with something, I get too frustrated, or they give me an idea. Or sometimes multiple at once, hehe.

      • Mmm. I wonder how I got past problems like this before I had writerly friends to email… I might have just emailed my cousin, who never actually responded. *facepalms*

        I might have to try roleplaying, actually. I wonder if that’ll help me find these characters’ voices better…

  3. Well, the only kind of character roleplaying I’ve done involves me being the character and someone else talking to them via Google chat. I can’t seem to do it out loud. I have no idea why. But yes, it seems to help a TON when I need to nail a character’s voice or figure out some backstory. For some reason backstory seems to happen the best when it’s spontaneous for some reason…kind of the whole I’m-not-trying-so-it-decides-to-happen thing? I don’t know.

    Glad things are going better for you now! I’m still slooooowly making progress with my worldbuilding brainstorming. I think I have another couple things to decide on/come up with, and then I can get back to actually rewriting. So…yay!

  4. Happy to see you found a way out of the Nick problems! I don’t usually bother role playing, but my Camp NaNo cabin mates and I did a little during week three and it helped us get to know our protags better.

  5. How detailed is your roleplay?! BECAUSE THAT SOUNDS AMAZING. I don’t really act anything out, but I do imagine detailed scenes when I go walking or driving or am supposedly sleeping. It gets to be like this whole movie in my head and then I try and write it down and HAHAHA. no. It’s always better in my head. -_-

    • Funny thing is, they are not detailed at all. I know the characters and I have a general idea of the scene. Honestly, I sometimes roleplay just because it’s fun. Even if I’ve roleplayed the scene before (the ones I do more than once usually end up my favorite scenes).
      Yes. That’s the way it works for me, too. -_-

  6. I’m editing the same time as you! Well, I’m making Jack Edit, but same thing. You should get chocolate. It makes it nicer. And easier. And it is kind of fun then. Especially if you have hot chocolate with it.

    • Oh, that was weird. That last comment wasn’t from Jack but from me. I didn’t know it liked her more than me and would make me into her.

      • Oh, it doesn’t like you better! And thank you for such and sweet and chocolate-comment, John! You and Jack deserve chocolate, too, because I like it when editing is nicer and fun instead of boring and hard.

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