Character voices are the essential parts of any story. They help build your theme and friction in stories. In order to fully explore your story, you must be able to give your characters their own distinct voices. To achieve that, there are some key things you must do and they include the usage of
1.Choices of words
3. Quirks and Mannerism
4. Metaphor/ simile / comparison
- Choices of words: Each character must have their own choice of words. These choices are determined by many factors.
- The character’s educational background: is your character one that has a great deal of education? Then, their choices of the word would include great vocabularies. A professor of law would probably use more vocabulary than a secondary school student. The educational background opens the readers to come to the level of this character and help them imagine the scenario and the character better.
- Jargons: this is the knowledge a person has in something. A computer geek would use words like Algorithm in sentences. While a singer would be focused on the tone of words than a doctor, who would use more words that have a lot of medical terms.
- Who they are talking to: many characters are not able to express themselves fully in some context when they are talking to people. The choice of words of a science professor to a little child wouldn’t be laden with technical languages as it would be when he is talking to a colleague.
- Generation of your character goes a long way in determining how your character speaks and the words. Most often, the imported words and vocabularies from their generation to this generation. While a boy of today might say. “I don’t want to be restricted’. Someone from the pre-independence era would say.’ I want my independence. I want to be free’.
- Slangs: there are some slangs that are common to some generations. When your character from another generation wants to use that slang, he or she might say. ‘I have scammered the man, as they use to say. The slang of a community would be different from that of another community. That means you can use that to determine the speech of your characters.
- Culture: some characters are so much vast in their culture that they can use the language fluently. In linguistics, they code mix or code switch. Code mixing is when you mix words from different languages in a sentence (emphasis on words). While code-switching is mixing words different sentences. For example, Code-mixing English and French: ‘ I am vinght nuef ans and I love you’, Chukwuemeka said and winked. Code-switching. ‘Hey! I am Chukwuemeka, j’ai vinght nuef ans. And I think I am falling in love with you. Comment tu appelle’.
- Gender: although this is something that might be explored different, you have to consider the gender of your characters. Most women are known to use a lot of adjectives than men. And when they do, they talk about the softness, the beauty of things. And when they describe bad events, they use words like ugly, horrible, terrible and the likes of them.