I have three novels going at once. I doubt any of them will ever actually see the light of day, but it’s fun to work through them anyway. One of the problems I inevitably have with them is character voice. I know my voice. I know how to create it, it, of course, feels natural to write from my own pen. If a character is penning a letter or a poem, I feel unnatural, scared, out-of-place, like I’m writing with someone else’s pen.
So to stretch myself and to make those character letters and poems have a little character, I’ve assigned myself a writing assignment. I’ll share it here on the off chance that someone feels like it’ll help him/her too.
Step one: Choose a situation that characters would want to talk about. I’m choosing an alien invasion.
Step two: Beg, steal and borrow pens from people and institutions but not stores. Keep track of where you got the pens from.
Step 3: Write between 500 and 550 words the event with each pen and in the owner’s voice. Make copies, and return the original with the pen.
Step 4: Prepare to either make people laugh or lose some friends.