It’s that time of the week – Tuesday Discussion.
From those who are new, each week I post a topic (relevant to my WIP) and try to unravel the mysteries and perspectives of it. Last weeks post was Writing Within Genres and this week is:
Character Voice Between Multiple POVs.
Character Voice is a crucial element of writing dialogue. In stage, film and TV we have the sound of individual characters’ voices and their identifying features to tell characters apart. In writing, dialogue and body action needs to convey these differentiating elements with words.
When we talk about characters’ ‘voices’, we don’t just mean the sound of a voice. It’s also the character – the personality – that shines through their speech. Details such as:
- Favourite subjects (for example, a Charles Dickens character might humble-brag a lot about how poor they were growing up to show others they’re a self-made man)
- Striking vocal features (a high/low/soft/loud voice, speaking fast, speaking slow, slurred speech)
- Vocabulary (does a character speak mostly in elegant, complex phrases, or is their speech rough around the edges?)
- Accent – this is something that’s easy to overdo.
- Repeative Actions – if the character is nervous he/she might have an object to stimulate sensory needs.
The biggest struggle I’ve endured in my writing, is seperating the voices between the multiple POVs. I created a list of details for each character, so I when I am editing I refer to and not mix up the personalities.
For example: One of my characters struggle with anxiety and squeezes his hand to self-regulate. I can’t have another character use that technique otherwise the two characters would overlap and confuse the reader.
How do you deal with the multiple POVs and 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.
5 thoughts on “Character Voice Between Multiple POVs”
I received my criticism on some elven characters because they sounded stiff. But that was really the point. They had no human slang or influences of the laziness some put on speech.
LikeLiked by 1 person
It is hard when you want your characters to sound in a particular way. Hopefully, it didn’t take the reader away from your overall story 😃
This is such a hard thing to manage to master! It’s still a work in progress for me.
For example, the prologue of my book is told from one point of view. He’s very self-confident and snarky and, in this instance, quite a bit annoyed and frustrated. So that was a fun voice to write, but it was markedly different from the main POV character, who is less self-assured, slower to react to things, and much more introspective and conscious of other people’s feelings.
I think the easiest thing is just to think of characters as real people, and no two people are alike! Or that tends to work well for me. I like to picture each of them in my head, what they’re doing, how they talk, and that helps me differentiate them and stay in voice.
LikeLiked by 1 person
It is such a hard thing to master. It frustrates me but I also love it because if I have the list of unique qualities of each character, then I know I have a range of different characters the readers can potentially fall in love with.
That’s great advice! I’ll try to incorporate that into my work, thank you 😃