The Character’s Tone of Voice Matters (Advice on Writing)

When writing the voice that you give your characters. Both in tone of in what they say, along with how they say it matters. And I am here to explain why it’s so important and give some advice on how you can find your character’s tone of voice yourself.

It’s important to keep character tone in mind when writing all your characters because your story is told from your characters voice not yours. Your trying to convey their story from their view.

So trying to do that makes finding your characters voice important.

What I mean by all of this is that everyone has their way of conveying the things they want to get across.

Your mother doesn’t use the same words or convey things the same way as your friends do. You might not emphases the same words in a conversation as someone else would. Everyone speaks just a little differently.

When you look around and listen to people you notice that everyone has these little things that make up how they speak. Little ticks that make them, them.

And this is why giving your character their own voice is so important. It makes your characters more real, more alive. More relatable.

You connect with a character speaking in a tone of voice that you can recognize.

And you might be saying this is cool but how is this something that I should be worrying about right now. But what you might not realize is that tone of voice is really important.

Think back to some books that you hated character wise.

Why did you hate that character? Were they insufrible? Annoying? Unrelatable?

Why did you think these things? What made these characters that way?

As an example you can end up hating the a character because you find them whiny or like they act better than everyone else.

And a reason for this can be because the tone of voice that they ended up with is the tone that you find on people who embody the the whole ‘not like other girls’ trope. Take a look at people who are that trope. Do any of the things match up with the character?

Tone of voice can make people love or hate your character. (Though do remember that there is always going to be someone who hates your character, no matter what you do)

And remember that what I am trying to saying also goes for every character in the story. It is important to give all your characters a different tone of voice. Emphasis on different.

Just like what I went over earlier everyone has a tone of voice. So the all your characters should have differential in tone too.

This is important for a whole different reason.

When you read a book you want to be able to differentiate between the characters when they are speaking. You don’t want to hear the same voice coming out of everyone’s mouth. That’s annoying, and it can make it hard to keep track of who is speaking.

But all of this is getting down to the same thing. Which is that tone of voice can shift how people see your characters. It can make them love them, it can make them hate them. And it can make people put down your book.

Now that I have went over why this is important, and why you should care about it. I think it’s time to get into the actual advice on creating character tone.

The first thing that I can say is to watch and listen to the people around you. Look around, find the little ticks in the people you interact with speech. Another option if you are a loner/not able to interact with people (Chough*Corona*Chough) is to look at the media that you consume.

Look at the tone of the characters that you read or watch. How does their tone convey their character across? Does it convey what they are trying to? Does their tone make them likeable? If not then is that on purpose or did the writer just miss the mark?

Another is to think about who your character is. What are their traits, their motivations. Are they upper class? middle, lower? Are they mean? Naive? Sarcastic?

Are they the bad guy? The love interest? The funny best friend?

All of these questions can help you find the characters tone of voice. Think about the things that you want that character to convey, what you want them to embody.

Another thing is to think about where they grew up. Both geographical and parental wise.

Certain regions have different ways that they say things. They have different words that they shorten. That emphasize.

Parental wise, a strict parent may not let certain words or shortenings be spoken making the character avoid these things. Or a character who was raised in lower class would say things different than the character raised upper class.

The tone the character hear is also important to think about.

A character might speak in a higher pitch then another, or they might be more on the monotone side. They might speak more breathlessly or might have a growly quality to them.

So all of this is to say take a look around you. At the media and books that you consume. Look for the tone of voice that you can find in them. What are they trying to say.

What are you trying to say?

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