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Sheila Dalton: Creating a unique voice

The author of The Girl in the Box on keeping only the characters who truly stand out.

"Writing is rather an organic process for me—characters come as they are and I work with them after they appear. But because more characters come to mind than I can use, I weed though and give preference to those with unique viewpoints. The next step is to find what  might easily set them apart from others, in the context of the written word. Sometimes it’s a manner of speaking, sometimes it’s an affectation, or a characteristic gesture. Even these can be projected into the voice, by speaking aloud “as” the character, using their gestures and mannerisms."


Sheila Dalton is the author of two literary novels, including her latest, The Girl in the Box, a literary mystery. She has also written the YA mystery Trial by Fire, which was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Award, as well as several children’s picture books, a collection of adult poetry and several  books about animals for young people.

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