It is a bad habit of a novice writer to create a story full of characters that sound exactly the same. They may not have the same concerns, but they talk about their unique lives using the same word choices, the same inflection, the same tone. It’s an understandable habit. Every writer has their own voice – the way their writing feels on a page – and we are beaten half-to-death with the notion of developing our own voices as a writer. But unless you are writing a memoir, you are not your character. Your voice should not be your character’s voice.
Developing unique character voices is difficult and, like everything, it takes practice. Begin by observing the way that people in your life talk. Notice the words the use – how often they curse, how detailed their stories are, changes in volume. If you’re having trouble creating voices out of nothing, try giving your characters the voices of the people that you know best.
Sometimes the best writing is an exercise in observation.
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