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How to Have a Unique Voice for a Character

To give a character a unique voice, they must have enough personality traits to seem like a real, 3-dimensional person. Let them act as only they would, given the background and personality you create for them as you write.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Give a character a distinctive voice. Even if the character is shallow in nature, your creation of them shouldn't be short on detail or depth, or they won't seem real.
  • Step 2: Try your character's voice out in a scene by altering their background, and therefore the way they act. Were they raised alone with an aunt? Are they embarrassed easily? Do they speak boldly to cover shyness? It's not what you want, but what they would actually do that matters.
  • FACT: Harper Lee won the Pulitzer Prize for her first novel, _To Kill A Mockingbird_, published in 1960. She never published another novel.
  • Step 3: Allow the reader to feel, smell, and react to things the character responds to through by writing your character's inner monologue. They should hold a unique outlook or have knowledge that others in the story don't.
  • Step 4: Pick up characteristics, tendencies, phrases, humor, and quirks from real people, strangers, and friends in your life. Be an observer of life, record your findings, and try them on the scaffold of your character.
  • Step 5: Draw pictures or find photos in magazines to create a physical image of your character -- their look, style, height, weight, eye color, and so on. Get acquainted with them until they seem real to you.
  • TIP: Think about giving them a name that suits their personality, or that was common during the time period in which you've set your story.
  • Step 6: Decide on your character's voice by imagining how they react to life. Stir the reader's empathy by making your characters relatable and realistic. Once your readers care about the characters, they'll be hooked on your story.

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