How Do You Find Your Characters Voice?

It’s that time of the week โ€“ Tuesday Discussion.

For those new to my blog, each week I pose a topic (relevant to my WIP) and try to unravel the mysteries and perspectives of it. Last weeks post was Do You Create a Writing Routine? and this week’s post is:

How do you find your characters voice?

If the characters are talking about nothing important, the dialogue is a filler and should be removed. Understand your characters as fully as you can, the more you can do this, the more naturally you’ll write dialogue that’s right for them.

How do you find your characters voice?

Understanding how to write dialogue in a story enables you to bring characters to life using their individual voices. Great dialogue moves your story along at a good pace, giving your reader a break from non-stop narrative prose.

Once you discover your character’s voice, their dialogue needs to be purposeful, I believe there are six purposes of dialogueย  and it should do one or more of the following:

  1. Reveal Character
  2. Progress plot
  3. Foreshadow coming conflict
  4. Conflict
  5. Indicate setting
  6. Provide exposition

Do you agree?

I try to have a distinct difference with their personality and show that difference through their language, for example, one of my characters will always use contractions, “don’t, won’t, can’t etc…”

Another way to find my character’s voice is to listen to real people talk, I found a lot can be learned from listening to the real world.

How do you find your characters voice?

Post your comments and answers below. If you think someone has an interesting point of view and answer, please invite them or share this post with them.

#DWTSmith #charactervoice

Character voice

10 thoughts on “How Do You Find Your Characters Voice?

  1. I follow those 6 purposes as well. There are of course the random greetings and starters, but I quickly move into the meat of it all. I attempt to make each voice unique as well. Ideally, the reader would know the character even if the attribution tags were all removed. That’s not so easy, however, but I try.

  2. I think “talking about nothing important” can be a bit ambiguous and subjective. What is important? I think even dialogue that is not directly related to the plot, world, or story, can still reveal a lot about the character. Maybe you start a scene with character talking about something that’s “not important” then move on to the real stuff. But that early portion can say a lot about who the characters are.

    • I agree. What I meant was, not a conversation between two characters that are like, โ€˜hey,โ€™ โ€˜hey,โ€™ โ€˜how are you?โ€™
      But if it reveals, plot, world, story and/ or character include the dialogue ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
      Does that make sense?

    • I don’t think he’s saying to leave out small talk. It just has to be done for a reason. Like you say, the way a character says something or what “unimportant” stuff they choose to address can be revealing about the character, and character is one of his defined purposes.

      • I forgot to include it but Iโ€™m glad it has been brought forth and we are discussing it ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
        โ€œEvery should be done for a reason.โ€