Writing Saturday: Let the Characters Speak

10:18 AM

One of the things that I, and many authors tend to do when writing a book, is to make all the characters sound the same. Here is an example;

“Hello, your highness,” the peasant girl said.

“Get out of my way, peasant girl,” the prince said.

“No, I won’t until you say that you will speak to your father, the king, on behalf of my brother.”

“I don’t care for your brother of any other peasant for that matter. Be on your way,” the prince said, turning to leave.

Now there was nothing on the surface that was wrong with that conversation but if I hadn’t told you that was a peasant girl and a prince speaking you would bee hard pressed to guess by their speech what they were. The peasant girl talked the same way the prince talked. She didn’t sound any less educated then he. So lets here that conversation again except this time let’s try to make the peasant sound uneducated and the prince sound more like a proud prince.

“Good day to ya sir prince,” the peasant girl said.

“Get thee out of my way, you worthless girl,” the prince said.

“No, I ain’t going until you promise me that you will speak to your dad about my brother.”

“What do I care what happens to your brother, or any other peasant for that matter? Be gone,” the prince said, turning to leave.

See what a difference that made? Make sure that all your characters have different ways of speaking and different expressions. This will help you and your readers keep you characters separate.

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  1. Good post, Sarah! I struggle with this sometimes...OK, OK, I struggle with this a LOT of times! LOL.
    Also, one thing I do to make my characters unique, is I give each one a phrase or something they say every time they speak. One of my characters, an older woman, is always saying 'land's sake' and calls everyone 'honey' So you know who's talking before it reads, so and so said. Did that make sense? Again, excellent post ;)

  2. GREAT POST! I as well sometimes struggle with this!

    I love your writing Saturdays!
    We have been busy so I have not been to your blog in a while, I have missed visiting it!

    Keep up the great work! Hope you and your family is well!