“The best advice I could give is to write in [your] voice, not in the voice of someone [you’re] not. This seems like bad advice if you’re trying to write a narrative, but it really isn’t if you think about it. If you haven’t internalized the character, then it isn’t part of you. If it isn’t part of you, it won’t carry your emotional weight. It’s not about vocal inflection or anything like that. Know that you, yourself, are flawed. You have dark parts of your heart. While you should fear them, you should use them and effectively. A villain should still speak in your voice. As much as a hero would. As much as the village idiot would. And as much as the world’s intellect would. These are all part of you. Make them you.”
Lilas Dinh is a Graduate Research Assistant in Computer Science.