Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Voices in My Head

So, I'm editing along and like, my characters are having a three-way discussion of some important matters.  Not easy to write considering that in a multiple character conversation, pronouns are problematic, but that's not really the issue here.  The issue is that I've got my MC talking to a Cossack and an Englishman.  All three have their own speech patterns and two are very distinctive.

Last night went sorta like this: "Okay. who's talking here?" and then once I had that settled, I proceeded to talk out loud like whichever character I was writing.  My husband had to think I was nuts - especially when I was doing the Russian accent.

And for some reason the blasted Cossack was taking over every time I tried to write the Englishman.  Today I have to make sure I didn't have B talking with D's speech patterns.  (And no, I'm not getting insane typing out the accents - except for the occasional dropped H on the Brit's part.)

Anyway, these different people are driving me crazy.  I don't even want to think about the meeting scene where there are characters from all over the globe talking over the top of each other.  Ack.  I mean, I guess I could wimp out and have some of them keep their mouths shut, but it wouldn't be real.  These aren't the type of folks to just hold their tongues - about anything. 

:shrug:  I'll figure it out when I get there. 

How do you handle scenes where multiple characters are talking?  Do the voices in your head ever have an argument?  If so, who wins?


  1. In SoS I had a scene with a bunch of people talking, and none of my betas said anything was confusing, so I guess it was fine, LOL!

    I dont really know how I deal with them. I guess I just make sure that everyone is accounted for and that someone isnt silent for too long.

  2. LOL, I chuckled at the image of you verbalizing each character's accent while writing.

    Mark Twain used accents in his books and they were very effective. If it is done well a scene will sing, done poorly and it will fall flat. You have taken on a daunting task, but I'm sure you'll persevere. All the best with your novel.