Anybody Can Write a Novel
Chapter 7 “From Story to Art” – Section 9 “Speech and Voice”
With Links to Supplementary Material
After you finish your first draft in all of its rough, unpolished, corny, sappy, unorganized glory, you will likely note something rather disturbing about your characters. They all sound the same. And, upon further analysis, you may even discover that they all sound like you. Fear not! This is to be expected, and but another factor to be adjusted and improved in the many drafts to come.
Tip 1: Annotate how each character's speech pattern differs from your own.
When a child is young, it is often difficult to attribute them with much of a unique personality, so long as they are parroting everything their parents say. Similarly, separating a character's speech
Two men, dressed in white scrubs that outlined fine muscles, held an even larger man by his biceps. They led him through the dreary bland hallways to one of many rooms in the labyrinth-like building. The large man walked in without fighting and one man quickly jabbed a needle in his arm, a sedative. As soon as the doors closed behind him he snapped his head around at it. He glared at the door for a moment, mumbling something his breath.
Ivan had been in a mental institution for years now. How long? He wasn't sure. He just knew it was a long, long time. He was admitted here when he was in his mid-twenties, now he was nearing middle aged. His family had stopped visiting him years ago. They left him. The voices told him that. They didn't want him. He was useless to them and they would let him die here.