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Atla Hrafney @AtlaTheWriter
, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
One advice writer's give that we consistently explain poorly is "make every character have a unique voice."

The way we refuse to go too in-depth with it often makes it sound like characters should either be Regular, Cowboy or Yoda.

So, here, a small guide on writing voices.
#1 rhythm.

Possibly the hardest to define, every person and every character has a rhythm to how they speak. Sentence length, patterns in how we structure our speech, etc.

As a reader, it's often hard to pick up on, but as a listener, it becomes a lot easier to understand.
This rhythm can also be mostly silence. Characters we often regard as stoic or mysterious speak only when they need to. How long a given person goes between talking is a big part of their speech pattern.
#2 Word choices.
Ask Superman and Batman to explain how they feel about their best friends, and you'll get drastically different answers.

This is not just because they're different people, but because their class status, education and worldview have helped adjusted their speech.
Even when their feelings line up, their descriptions aren't the same because both have values and associated words that comes much more naturally to mind.

Understanding this, that 2 people describe the exact same thing differently, is imperative to functional character voices.
#3 subcultures and regions

Every person belongs to a community or group that helps form parts of their vocabulary.

From musicians to Minnesotans, almost every human knows a few cultural or regional words that aren't common knowledge worldwide that they use almost daily.
In some cases, those words are so esoteric that they're only found at one workplace, a small friend group.

You'll often see this in teen comedies, where girl groups shout their catchphrases at each other. It can be excessive, but it is part of learned behavior that we all have.
#4 Secondary Language

This one section needs a thread of its own one day, but effectively, if you speak any language as your second language, there's going to be difficulties.

Mixing up metaphors, translating the literal meaning of a word when you're stuck mid-sentence, etc.
Very often, you'll see creators either have their characters fully understand a second language, "switch" for the sake of a joke, or relying on a writing tablet through the story.

The lack of middle ground is an indicator of a lack of research and dedication.
I write and edit as a professional in English. I was bilingual by the age of 10, and got over 8 years of school teaching the subject.

And even now, I still need to think for a quick sec to remember whether adjectives are descriptors or actions.
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