How To Make Your Characters Sound Like People: Character Background

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We all want our characters to sound like real people and to do this we have to look at the background of each character to find what makes them stand out. We ask ourselves three questions:

1. Where is the character from?

2. Where is the character’s parents from?

3. Who does your character hang around?


The answer to these questions help determine how the character will sound when using dialogue. Let’s go through each of them.

1. Where is your from?


This is important because where the character come from determines their accent. Whether it’s pronouncing s’ like z’ or saying soda instead of pop. Where they’re from plays a role in how your character talks to other people. Realizing and embracing your character’s accent and how they talk makes your character seem more realistic to your readers.

2. Where are the character’s parents from?


The character’s parents raised the character and taught them how to talk. This influences the way the child talks because that’s how they learnt.

3. Who does your character hang around?


Hanging around a certain group of people plays a role and how your character sounds. For example, if your character hangs around people who never cursed a day in their life then it’s more likely your character won’t curse as much as well.

Another example would be your character hanging around people who talked a lot of slang language. Your character may also have a tendecy to talk slang if they hang around people who do all the time. This may happen unconsciously.

I talk more about these three ways to have your character sound like people in this short video. You can also check out my other post on how to make your characters sound like people: who are they talking to for more tips on character dialogue.

If you have any more tips to add about  making your character sound like people please do share it in the comments. Thanks for reading.

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About the Author

Shaquanda Dalton

Hello, my name is Shaquanda Dalton and welcome to! I'm from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graudated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in Creative Writing. I fell in love with writing at the age nine and love it till this day. :)


  1. Hi Shaquanda. Just checking in. I like the new color scheme. I’m head down, working on a story, so my blog’s being a bit neglected now.

    Hope all is well with your novel.

    • Shaquanda Dalton

      All is well. Thanks for checking in. Yeah, I figured you’d be busy with your writing when I didn’t see any updates on your blog. Keep working hard at it and I’ll be happy to read it when you’re finished and post a review for you.

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