Guest Posts,  Writing

5 Unique Ways to Electrify Your Character’s Voice a Guest Post by Allie Jo Andersen

Why, hello there!!! Looking for another post, are ya? Well, you’ve come to the right place!!! Today, you can read TWO posts! (Yep, you heard me right.😉) Let me explain: yesterday I guest posted on my friend, Allie Andersen’s blog. You may click here if you want to read my post titled How to Play Christmas Hockey. And you can continue reading right here on the blog if you want to read Allie’s post which is titled . . . well, you can already see the title above.😜

Allie and I have been friends for over a year now. She was actually like the first person I met in the blogosphere. I found her through Jennifer A. Nielsen’s blog and hung around ever since. She’s so much fun, creative, and a GENIUS, I tell ya!! Her stories never fail to blow my mind away, and I always enjoy reading them. Allie is the author of Sci-Fi Fridays, Pirate Eye, and Dragon Eggplant! Her story, “Shape-Shifter’s Code” was featured in TWN’s Imagine anthology. And today she’s going to be sharing tips with you on how to electrify your character’s voice!

*waves*

Hello there, TWNers! Nice to meet you! I’m Allie Jo Andersen, but you can call me Allie. 🙂

First off, I want to give a huge shout-out to the amazing gals behind Teen Writers’ Nook and thank them for having me on their amazing blog!! This is truly one of the best blogs and always a fun place to hang out!!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with me, I’m a young writer, blogger, podcaster, soon-to-be-graduated high schooler, 4H-er, Holland Lop rabbit breeder, avid reader hey that rhymes! and Community Assistant on the Young Writers Workshop!

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Ahem.

Anyway, I’m here to talk about some unique ways to electrify your character’s voice.

Have you ever started writing a character, but part of the way through, that character just felt… bland? Or maybe you just couldn’t hear the character’s voice in your head as clearly as you wanted?

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Well, then, my friend, I have a solution (or 5!) for you!

Now, there are a lot of ways to figure out your specific character’s voice, including filling out character questionnaire sheets, writing a journal entry from your character’s perspective, and diving into your character’s backstory, but today I’m going to share some unconventional ways to make your character jump off the page.

Because, sometimes, we just need a little bit of creativity and silliness to get ourselves pulsing with inspiration again.

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

#1: Talk To Yourself

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You heard me right–sometimes talking to yourself and hearing your own internal dialogue can help you write better character dialogue.

Okay, so maybe I don’t recommend talking to yourself in front of other people, but if you’ve got some time alone, why not voice those thoughts going through your head? I’ve found that once I say aloud the things that I’m thinking (even if it’s just talking about the things I should be doing 😆), it’s easier for me to get in a character’s head. And who knows, you may end up being your own new best friend. 😂

However, this method may not work for everyone. Which brings us to…

#2: Watch A Movie

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Watching movies is a FANTASTIC way to develop your character’s voice. There is usually a diverse cast of characters with their own unique voices. So if you pay attention to what the characters say and how they say them, movies can be valuable teachers for character voices. Some movies with great unique character voices are any of the Marvel movies (Marvel honestly has some of the best storytelling I’ve ever seen, it’s incredible), Disney’s Newsies, any of the Winnie The Pooh movies, and Princess Bride. Totally didn’t almost accidentally misspell that to Princess Bridge… wouldn’t that have changed the plot 😂

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#3: Sing Along To Your Favorite Christmas Song

Okay, so it doesn’t *have* to be a Christmas song. But another great way to study character voice is through songs, because some songs are actually written like a story (“The Christmas Shoes” by NewSong is the one that comes to mind at the moment… it’s a bit of a tearjerker but really good). And singing along to the song will help just as #1 will because it will help you loosen up a bit and see yourself in the shoes no pun intended of the song.

#4: People-Watch (And Listen)

That’s right–I’m giving you full-permission to eavesdrop. XD

In all seriousness, watching and listening to people will give you great material and ideas for characters. If you pay attention to how someone talks about their pet rabbit, or how they did on their latest test, you can learn a lot about how to write character dialogue–and even internal character monologue.

#5: Read A Book (Or A Comic!)

Honestly, comics (specifically the comedy strips like Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, and Pickles, though other comics like Marvel and DC are probably good for this, too) are one of my favorite ways to study characters. Because comics are such short, clipped bits of writing, the cartoonist usually has to choose their word choice for characters well, so they’re a great source for studying character voice. You can also learn how to write humor through dialogue from comics, which is another plus! 

Reading books in general, however, is another great way to get inspiration for your character’s voice. There are some amazing books out there that do this very well, and some of my favorites are The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen, Malamander by Thomas Taylor, and Restart by Gordon Korman.

That’s A Wrap!

Thank you so much to Kat, Is, and Alana for having me on your amazing blog!!! 

What are some of your favorite (and maybe slightly nutty 😉) ways to find inspiration for your character’s voice?

11 Comments

  • Saraina

    I love those tips!!! Thank you Allie!!! (Btw, I loved your story in Imagine! 😀 ) It really is so true that people watching and listening will give you great ideas – like, my younger sister never says “little;” she says “tiny.” It kinda drove me crazy for a bit, then I was like, wait, that’s so cool!! I love seeing how everyone has their own unique vocabulary, as subtle as it may be. Awesome post!!

    • Allie Jo Andersen

      I’m so glad to hear, Saraina!! You are quite welcome!! (Aw, thank you!! I’m so glad you liked it!!) Yes, that’s exactly what I was talking about!! 😀 Yeah, it’s fun to hear how people say different things in a unique way! Thank you for reading!!

  • Ava Coulter

    Awesome post!!! I LOVED those tips; they were so helpful and also unique! I’m working on a character right now, and I’ve been having SO much trouble with finding his voice! I already did the like more common techniques for finding character voices, but they weren’t effective with him for some reason *cries*

    But it’s so true that doing even simple stuff like people watching and listening to music can really give you great ideas for unique character voices if you pay attention XD. This was very timely for me so thank you so much!!!

    • Allie Jo Andersen

      Thank you, Ava!! I’m so glad to hear my tips were helpful! 🙂 I’m sorry to hear you’re having trouble finding your character’s voice–that’s really frustrating.

      Yes, good point! Aw, I’m so glad to hear! 🙂 You are quite welcome!!

  • Allie Jo Andersen

    Aw, thank you for the sweet introduction, Kat!! (Wow, I can’t believe we’ve known each other for over a year!!) Thanks again for letting me guest post for you!! I had a lot of fun writing the post!! And thank YOU for guest posting for me over at the Christmas Blog Party!!! 😀

    • Katherine

      Aw, of course, Allie!!!❤ (I know, right?!! Time sure does fly. XD) You are so very welcome!!!!!!!!! Thank YOU so much for guest posting!!!!!! Your tips were FANTABULOUS!!!!!!!! I absolutely enjoyed reading your post and learning new tips!!!!! 😀 Aw, you’re SO welcome!!!!!!😊 Thank you again for asking me!!!!! I loved being a part of your blog party!!!!!! 😀 <33

  • Sisters Three

    Hahaha, that first tip, story of our life…lol…we talk to ourselves all the time…
    Wow! Great tips! This was a super helpful post! Awesome! (Also, gonna have to say Shape-Shifters Code was an awesome story!!! And Holland Lops are absolutely adorable!!! Always wanted one!!!)
    Again, thanks for this awesome post!!!

  • RangerElfLegend

    The first way to get your character’s voices…I do that one all the time. My family has almost caught me doing it too. Totally not embarrassing.

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