I've been reading a book this week that grabbed me right from the start! I'm a sucker for character voice, and the main character's voice was three dimensional. I settled in for a fun ride!
As more characters were being introduced, I noticed they all had terrific voice, BUT they all had the same voice. I couldn't tell them apart.
Why does that matter? Good voice is good, right?
No. The main character was diluted by an echo of sameness from every other character.
BOO! Everyone was energetic, confident, independent, capable, desirable, helpful, dependable, powerful...(yes, the list goes on and nauseatingly on)
Voice comes from the personality of the character. To have diverse voices, we have to have diverse personalities. Here's some food for thought...think of your own characters, look over the personality traits at the bottom of this post, then come back and consider these questions.
• Which traits would you circle for each character?
• How would those traits show up in their actions and body language?
• How would those traits color their dialogue?
• How would those traits influence their attitudes and self-talk?
• How would those traits intensify problems for them?
Voice is essentially part of "who we are."
Voice is revealed in the characteristics of each cast member in our stories.
Unique characters = Unique voice