Recently I used James Scott Bell’s voice journal idea to help me know my protagonist better. Joan talked to me and told me her joys, history, and attitude. She provided flesh for the factual bones I’d created and gave me a richer view of her personality and life.
I never had imaginary friends, but now I’m creating characters from thin air to populate my novels. The voice journal is a good technique. Each character gets a chance to chat with me. When Joan talked, I typed her words and her voice became clearer as I listened. This exercise let me hear what she sounds like, her cadence. She’s a fascinating character and will be fun to work with in my journey through Dying to Change.
This process made me wonder what God thought when he created me. Did he think “she’s going to love music, vivid colors and patterns, and dogs–especially Westies, and her heart’s going to dance every time she sees the Colorado mountains?” Did he talk with us as he chose our physical appearance, personality, and abilities? He loves all of us and created us as unique representations of his image. I think he had as much fun as I’m having.
For more about voice journals, check out James Scott Bell’s The Art of War for Writers.