How do you know what your character is thinking?

How do you capture that ever elusive “voice?”

I find it’s sometimes hard to get out of my own head and into the mind of my character. To find that unique “voice.” Understanding the characters is paramount to understanding their actions and decisions.

So how do we do find the right “voice?”

The last thing I want is for all of my characters to sound alike!


I just finished reading a book called Voice by James Bell

This is a must read for writers. Mr. Bell keeps suggestions are simple and easy to understand. I will reread this book again and again. Of the many, many books on writing, rereading is not something I do often.

What helped me find a voice?

  • The “voice” should not be mine…
    • Unless I’m writing a memoir
  • Images help…
    • Pick an image that fits the character.
    • Avoid people you know or famous people.
  • When searching for an image…
    • Enter several descriptive key words.
      • Tall, dark and handsome isn’t enough. Get creative.
  • A journal can be a great tool…
    • But write in the journal as if the character is writing. Not you.
  • Interview the character…
    • Ask questions and write the answers from the character’s POV.

How do you capture the “voice” of a character?

Any tips to help me? Please share.

Want more? Check out Judy Reeves’s “A Writer’s Book of Days.

Leave me a comment – I love comments.

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20 thoughts on “How do you know what your character is thinking?

  1. You know it’s interesting to find our character’s voice. It’s something I never thought about, I’ve written short anecdotes on my blog, the thought of my character’s voice did not come to my mind, next time I’ll have to see if my method is right or wrong. Thank you for this. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I, so far, always have an idea of who my main characters are. I take each one with me when I go search for her/his image. I go through the images at Google or Bing looking for the right hair, face, and build. Next, I take her/him to the baby sites to find the name that fits her/him.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great blog! I have the same issue with voice. I’m in the process of revising and one of the things I’m looking at is Character development and voice. Most of my characters are basically the same. I have to find quirks or voice, something to distinguish them. I have one character I really like in my novel. She has her own voice and is a little sassy. It actually comes through. I’ve been trying to figure out what I did differently with her.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always find that putting them in an annoying situation helps me find their voice. How they react when someone pushes in front of them in a queue instantly reconnects me to them 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

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