Mar 18 2008

How to Create Distinct Voices for Characters

Published by at 7:39 pm under Comedy

This is a brief series of questions designed to help you write character voices.

1. When your characters talk, do they actually sound different? If you’re not sure, try this thought experiment. If you were to write a transcript of a dialogue and remove the names, could readers figure out who said what? If so, then you’ve done a good job of voicing the characters.

2. If your characters do not have distinct voices, try this. Take an index card for each of your recurring characters and write a sentence or two describing how a strange might identify the character from a nameless transcript. Some ways you might vary the character’s manner of speech include the length of his sentences, his tendency to use long words, his use of contractions and incorrect speech, and then his invented words/jargon. Also, what’s his personality like? Is his conversational style very confrontation, very clipped, cryptic, etc?

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