Character Voice and Author Voice – Are They the Same Thing?

| | Category: Writing Tips

Part of what makes a book memorable and enjoyable is a strong voice.

But does that mean a strong voice (or voices) from the characters – or a strong voice from the author?

Actually, it means both.

One of the best ways to develop a strong character’s voice for a book is to write the book from the main character’s point-of-view.

When writing the story from the main character’s POV, the author is able to use distinctive narrative and inner monologue, in addition to dialogue, to create a strong voice for the main character.

It gets a bit trickier to create a strong voice for the main character when writing from the main character’s third person POV.

That’s because dialogue tends to be the main way to develop the character’s voice when writing from his or her third person POV.

The author’s voice comes through in the way the author phrases narrative, and in the way he or she paces the story, and how much description and inner monologue (of the characters’) he or she chooses to use.

Lisa Harkrader is a children’s author with both a strong author’s voice and a strong voice for her main characters (in all of her books and stories for children).

Her new middle grade novel, The Adventures of Beanboy, is written from the 1st person POV of young Tucker McBean.

The story includes distinctive narrative that helps develop Tucker’s voice for the story.

Yet, in everything Lisa Harkrader writes, her distinctive style and voice are easy to recognize.

She tends to write in short, direct sentences, that give all of her stories (and even her nonfiction articles) a strong voice and a quick pace.

Read The Adventures of Beanboy.

See if you notice the skillful way Harkrader develops her voice as the author, as well as Tucker McBean’s voice as the POV character.

Visit her website at

This Friday, February, 24, 2012, at 2:00 CST, Lisa Harkrader will be the guest author on Book Bites for Kids. To listen to the show on Friday, just go to at 2:00 CST that day.

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