Character voices can be challenging to develop, especially for authors. In screenwriting, you can use the voices and facial expressions of the actors. But when you are penning a book, the only way to make your characters feel alive is to utilise words. However, developing impressionable characters depends on your ability to create characters that are:
- Verbally captivating
- Distinctive and memorable
However, the guide below will help you achieve it seamlessly.
How to Inject Character Voice in a Story
- Use first-person viewpoint
In first-person narration, the narrator assumes the identity of a character and tells the story from their perspective. In the narration, the pronoun ‘I’ is often utilised (or we, if the narrator is speaking as a member of a group). You will hear that character’s version of what happens, whether they are directly involved in the action or are more of an observer from a distance. Furthermore, it means that a character’s perceptions and descriptions might be influenced by their opinions, mood, experiences, or even skewed notions of what is heard or seen.
- Unreliable narrating
An unreliable narrating style is when your character withholds information from the reader, lies to them, or misleads them, thereby raising dust on the validity of the story as a whole. When your character’s voice is injected using this technique, their voice is exaggerated and filled with deception, which helps the reader understand the personality of the character in question.
- Third-person omniscient
The omniscient narrator is fully aware of the plot and the characters in a story. This implies that the author can use any character in a piece of literature to portray a character’s voice through their personal viewpoints and innermost thoughts.
- Third-person limited narration
In a third-person limited narration, the writer is objective and unaware of the feelings or ideas of the characters. The story is told in an observational style by the character. In this technique, character voice and growth are entirely communicated through the language and actions of the characters.
- Use stream of consciousness narration
By employing this method, you can capture the emotional and psychological reality of the character’s brain movement from one point to another. It will help you depict the human tendency in your character’s thought pattern, as human thoughts are not always linear, logical or well structured. The technique will enable your reader to feel more connected with your characters. For instance, instead of saying
‘When I get to work, I will say good morning to Ndifreke and start writing’, you can say: ‘should I greet Ndifereke when I get to work; should I just get to my desk and start writing? How you inject your character’s voice into your story is very important in creating a bond between your reader and your character. However, becoming a master at it depends on the level of effort you are ready to put into honing the skill. For more tips to improve your writing craft, click here