Thursday, January 14, 2010

Say What?

I write in first person. Third person can work well for adult/literary books. But I write YA. And teenagers NEVER say what they're really thinking. So I the world of lying back stabbers, jumping inside a characters head is a handy tool. But every story has multiple sides, so I like jumping in the heads of more than one character. The result, I write first person with multiple POV characters. I switch narrators at chapter breaks, cause I want to be nice to my readers - plus I'm lazy.
Having multiple point of view characters does provide an extra challange. They all have to sound different. But since I'm writing YA, they also all have to sound like teenagers. I could write an entire novel of "um, yeah, like, oh my god, I'm totally screwed." But that could get annoying really fast. In order to determine the variability in my characters voices, I decided to make word clouds (with the help of the kind people over at http://www.wordle.net/).

Below are six different word clouds based on the vocabularies of six different narrators.
Joceyln and Hunter are the two POV characters from CAMP LIFE. The novel I'm currently querying. My WIP, THE SECRETS OF SMITH HALL, currently has six POV characters. Haley, Austin, and Kyle do most of the story telling and the other narrators pop in infrequently. So I only made the three word clouds for that book. Then I also made a word cloud of my own voice from, THE GIANT IN THE ATTIC ,the memoir I'm currently procrastinating.
These all look totally different right? Maybe I should work on expanding my vocabulary.


Jocelyn from CAMP LIFE

Hunter from CAMP LIFE

Haley from THE SECRETS OF SMITH HALL

Austin from THE SECRETS OF SMITH HALL

Kyle from THE SECRET OF SMITH HALL

Me from THE GIANT IN THE ATTIC
Joke of the Day

Workplace Vocabulary Words:

Blamestorming - Sitting in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

Crop Dusting - Surrepticiously passing gas while passing through a cube farm.

Prairy Dogging - Heads popping up over cube walls to look out for preditors.

2 comments:

CKHB said...

You can click on individual words in a cloud to remove them... I always take out character names to clarify the real SOUND of a piece rather than get lost in who-is-being-talked-about.

Kate said...

I took CKHB's advice and removed all the character names. Now my word clouds look even more alike. How horrible is it that back and just were the two largest words in every single characters cloud? I think I might have to work on that.