Feb 11 2008

Next writing article: voicing your characters

Right now I’m working on a piece on character voice. What sort of character voices do you enjoy reading the most? What sort of character voice issues concern you the most when you are reading or writing? If you have any thoughts, please e-mail at superheronation… at…. gmail.com . (I’ll credit you unless you say otherwise).


As a very short blurb, I’ll say that I loved Gordon Dickson’s Aragh (The Dragon and the George) and Laurence & Temeraire from His Majesty’s Dragon. Depending on which translation you get, Gilgamesh has an interesting (but hard-to-read) voice and I’m particularly fond of characters from The Iliad and The Gates of Fire.

Among superheroes, I’m kind of partial to Superman. Although his superpowers are criminally unfun and his villains are conspicuously lackluster, I think that he’s usually easier to read than light-hearted quipsters (Spiderman, Static Shock), casual psychopaths (Wolverine, Punisher) and melodramatic ponderers (Fatale, Daredevil).  I find Wolverine and Fatale most grating, but especially Wolverine because he inspires emulation.

Among supervillains, I enjoy the voices of Dr. Doom, Darth Vader and to some extent Dr. Impossible (Soon I Will Be Invincible). Spiderman’s Reptile deserves an honorable mention, but some versions of him sound too much like a reptilian Gorilla Grodd.

On my wall of shame, I’d mention Wolverine, Fatale (SIWBI), most of the characters in Eragon, and every Chuck Paluhniuk character (particularly the narrator of Choke).

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