Every writer strives to make their story feel as real as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to give characters a voice that can be heard off the page. To understand how to craft these voices and make them unique, we must first define what “voice” means in writing.

Voice is the combination of language, style, attitude, and character that makes up a person’s individual way of speaking. It can be used to convey emotions, opinions, and even setting. When creating a piece of writing, authors are tasked with giving each character a distinct voice that can be identified. This article will provide tips on how to best describe voices in writing.

Identify the Character’s Voice

Before any writing can take place, it is important to consider the age, background, and personality of your character. Each element affects the way a person speaks and should be taken into account when creating a voice.

Age is often one of the first elements to consider when building a character’s voice. Younger characters tend to speak differently than older ones. They may use slang, abbreviations, and other forms of informal speech. Older characters, on the other hand, usually have more formal speech patterns and may use more sophisticated language.

Background also plays an important role in shaping a character’s voice. Where someone is from and what kind of education they have had will influence their vocabulary and the way they express themselves. For example, a character who has grown up in a rural area may use different words than someone who has grown up in an urban area.

Character traits such as intelligence, confidence, and sense of humor can also shape a character’s voice. Highly intelligent characters may use longer, more complex sentences while less confident characters may use shorter and simpler phrases. A character with a great sense of humor may use puns and jokes to add wit and charm to their dialogue.

Utilize Dialect and Accents

Dialect and accents are another great way to make characters unique. Different areas of the world have different dialects and accents that can be incorporated into writing. For example, someone from the South may have a drawl or use certain words that are specific to the region. Someone from the Midwest may have a flattened vowel sound or use phrases like “pop” instead of “soda”.

When incorporating dialect and accents into writing, it is important to be respectful. Avoid stereotypes and be conscious of how you are portraying different cultures. The goal is to create a voice that is authentic and believable.

Use Similes and Metaphors

Similes and metaphors are also useful tools for crafting a unique voice. They can help bring a character’s dialogue to life and make it stand out from the rest. Similes compare two things by using terms like “like” or “as”. For example, a character might say “It was as hot as the sun outside”. Metaphors compare two things without using these terms. An example of a metaphor would be “Her heart was an iceberg”.

When using similes and metaphors in writing, it is important to be specific. Vague comparisons can make dialogue feel flat and uninteresting. Be sure to use details that readers can relate to and that fit the character’s personality.

Include Speech Patterns

Speech patterns are another great way to give characters a unique voice. These patterns can include anything from stuttering to frequent use of filler words. For example, a character may use the word “like” every few sentences or stutter when they are nervous. These patterns can be used to show a character’s emotions or to provide insight into their personality.

When using speech patterns in writing, it is important to be mindful of how often they are used. Too much can make dialogue seem unrealistic and forced. It is best to sprinkle these patterns throughout dialogue to give it an authentic feel.

Show Emotions Through Dialogue

Dialogue can be used to show a character’s emotions as well. Certain words and phrases can be used to convey feelings such as anger, frustration, joy, and sadness. For example, a character who is feeling angry may use stronger words like “I don’t care” or “That’s ridiculous”. A character who is feeling sad may use softer words like “I’m sorry” or “I miss you”.

When using dialogue to show emotion, it is important to be consistent. If a character is angry, their words and tone of voice should reflect that. Otherwise, readers may be confused or distracted from the story.


Creating unique voices for characters can be a challenging but rewarding task. By considering age, background, and personality, utilizing dialect and accents, using similes and metaphors, including speech patterns, and showing emotions through dialogue, writers can craft voices that bring their stories to life.

By following these tips, writers can create characters that are believable and memorable.

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By Happy Sharer

Hi, I'm Happy Sharer and I love sharing interesting and useful knowledge with others. I have a passion for learning and enjoy explaining complex concepts in a simple way.

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