How to Capture a Voice for a Character


Creating Your Character’s Voice

Good characters are going to have their own voice. But new writers often have trouble coming up with this voice. They don’t know what their character sounds like, and so many of their characters may sound the same. Some writers try to model a character voice from a popular character that they know. But you don’t want to copy someone else’s character voice; you want your character to have their own unique voice. That’s why you should check out these helpful tips on how to create a voice.

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Narration vs. Dialogue

The first thing you have to understand is that there is a difference between the narration voice that you create in the dialogue voice that you create. If you look at an example from popular fiction, the narration voice of Harry Potter in the seven book series is completely different than the actual dialogue voice of Harry Potter. Harry Potter Fanfiction authors also play with this pretty well.

Try Out Different Voices

Another thing that you can do is to try out different voices for your character. Write the same line of dialogue using different voices and try to find something that fits with your character. Obviously, not everything is going to fit, you may find something that comes close and you can use it to create the new voice for an original character.

Think About Why Your Character Speaks That Way

Another thing that you can do is try to figure out why your character speaks that way. For example, Hagrid from Harry Potter speaks that way because of his background and the fact that he is half-giant who is not made it through school. Try to figure out what your character’s background is and why it might cause him to speak a certain way. This will allow you to come up with dialogue and narration that fits that particular character perfectly.

Avoid Character Voice Clichés

You definitely want to avoid character voice clichés. For example, suppose that you are writing about a pirate. You do not want your pirate to be saying, “Arrrh Matey,” all the time because that is just a good essay on the pirate genre and it is going to make your story or novel look weak. Instead, imagine a pirate character that speaks like he has read Shakespeare and every available classic novel known to man. This is a much better way to get a character to talk and avoids the regular cliché of making him sound like he comes from a terrible movie.

Write Down Real Voices to Get Ideas

Finally, write down people’s real voices to get ideas what they sound like. You do not want to copy someone exactly, but you can use some of the ideas that you get by writing down what people say and how they say it, to give you ideas on how to write dialogue. Not all dialogue is going to be good, but it should give you some ideas on how to write your own and help you to develop your own character voice.