In the Write for a Reason course we are looking at dialogue this week, so I thought I’d share a bit of it with you!

Develop a different voice for each of your characters.

When writing dialogue, give each of your characters their own “voice”. Each person needs to express their personality through their words, their way of speaking, their tone and expressions.

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There’s nothing worse than trying to read dialogue where all the characters sound the same. For example, here are three different ways characters might respond to hearing about your cat’s death:

  1. “Not your little Gavin! Oh no that’s so sad, you must miss him so much. What happened? Give me a hug!”
  2. “So?”
  3. “Where did you bury the body? You’ll have to watch out the foxes don’t dig it up.”

Notice how each of the above speeches reveals something of the personality of the person speaking. If the three people who said these lines were characters in a novel, readers would know immediately who said what, because of their different voice.

Why not go back over your work in progress and see if you can work out easily who said what, both from the words they used and the way they said it.

What do you think? Have you managed to give each of your characters a unique voice?

Janet Wilson, founder of Dernier Publishing and Write for a Reason
Janet Wilson, founder of Dernier Publishing and Write for a Reason

Let me know if that made you think!

Happy writing,

Janet

P.S. Registration for the next Write for a Reason course is now open! We will start on 2nd October. You can find out more here. If you want to take your writing to the next level, do take a look. Places, as always, are limited, because I like to make sure I have time for every student. To make sure you get a place, do book early – and the earlier you book, the more time you have to do your preparation!

Voices

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