Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Different Voices

At one of our meetings, the members of my writers group pointed out that my two main characters, Louise and Erleen, spoke in the same voice and I should do something to distinguish them. Excellent comment, but how? They were of a similar age, both widows, both antiques dealers, both had lived in Minnesota for most of their lives. I didn't have the writing experience to make them have different (enough) voices, so I tried what I felt at the time was a cheap cop-out. I decided Erleen had been born and raised in the South and had moved to Minnesota right after college when she was married. I left her with a Minnesota speech style, but a habit of throwing in Southern colloquialisms as a sort of flirtatious device that had become a habit. I think it worked well. Later, when the book was finished, a reader told me that Erleen was the most delightful character in the book because of the way she talked. Isn't that just finer than frog hair?

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