I think getting character voice right is a hard one, particularly when you’re first starting to write a character.
I’m in the midst of writing my aforementioned new project; it’s YA like most of my stuff and the main character is sixteen. However I’m finding myself questioning whether a sixteen year old would talk the way I’m writing her, and whether she really would be having the kind of thought processes that she is.
Let me explain some of the reasoning behind this self-doubt. My first novel, a YA also, had a protagonist who was sixteen. I was sixteen at the time of writing, so I didn’t really have any doubts about the voice. Then months and months later when I sent my novel off to some people for critiquing after extensive edits, a few people came back to me saying that the voice sounded far too old for a YA. One person even said my protagonist sounded like she was twenty six! Needless to say, that isn’t really ideal when writing for a teenage audience.
So I’m putting it to you: what do you think? Should I go with my gut and write what I feel is right, or should I think more carefully about it? Also, have any of you ever had a similar problem? I’d love to hear your thoughts!