One of the many important aspects of writing dialogue is that each character has to have their own voice. Each of us speak and react the differently, and so should our characters. Over the years, I’ve tried different methods to ensure my characters have different voices, but none worked.
When I began my newest new book, I found pictures of my characters in magazines and online. I struggled with the dialogue and reactions of a serious, hard working female character in my first scene. A good friend popped into my head. I imagined how she would respond to the situation in that scene. It worked. Later, I added a snapshot of her next to my character’s picture.
Voila, in my mind, my character’s reactions and comments were easy to visualize and write.
So, when I need someone who is outgoing, verbose, friendly, I picture another friend and I immediately can picture how she would respond to any situation.
However, just a word of caution, don’t put too much of your friend in your story that it is obvious who you’re using. Below is a list of guidelines I follow.
* Use a different name for your character
* Use different situations, something your friend or family member has never been in
* Have them be a different sex, if possible
* Have them be different ages
* Don’t include all of your friend’s mannerisms
And most importantly, only use the good qualities of your friends and family members.
Have fun writing!
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