As the writer/narrator you have your own personal voice but mastering your character’s voice is something that may take a little experimenting.
Why is finding your character’s voice important? It gives your character’s their own way of standing out.
Have you ever read a book and the characters sounds just alike?
They don’t really stand out and you’re constantly waiting for the ‘James said’ or the ‘Tony said’ at the end of each line just to figure out who was talking.
You don’t want your readers to have to do that. I’ve had to reread paragraphs in novels when I get confused about who was talking.
No one likes being confused especially if the book was going so well.
So here are two things to help your character’s voice stand out:
1. What are some topics that your character loves talking about?
This has a lot to do with knowing your character. You have to know their passion and their attitudes to know what they are most likely to bring up in conversation.
Is your character into sports? What about money or romance? What is their goal in the story? Does it keep popping up in their mind that they can’t help but bring it up when they’re talking to someone?
Does your character’s have an accent?
2. What are some things or words your character would never say?
This question makes you think about what your character doesn’t like. So do your characters curse? Do they like use slang and never say the standard English word?
What are some topics that they would never bring up. If the topic’s brought up would they quickly dismiss it?
I have a character named Malcolm I’m writing that is a social playboy. He will never bring up the topic of marriage and I know this because I know his personality. So knowing your character really helps to develop their voice and to help them stand out.
I think one of the important things to remember about this subject is that it takes time to know your characters inside and out.
When you start with a brand new character it may take a month before you feel comfortable telling their story for them. It took me even longer.
Once you think or write about your character a lot you will get a feel for how they do things and you’ll also understand the why behind it. It’s when their words flow from your head to the keyboard when you’ve found their voice.
But it takes time and patience so keep writing. 🙂
Thanks for reading,