In creative writing, perhaps the most difficult part is writing dialogue. As a writer not only do you have to create different and outstanding characters but also create a way they talk that should distinguish them in your story. In other words you should give your characters a distinct voice, a way of saying or repeating words that would distinguish them from others in your story.
People don’t all talk in the same way, the same way your characters shouldn’t. What’s worse is that in real life people blabber, they eat out words or repeat unnecessary ones while talking. As a writer you can’t do that without boring your readers and sending them away from your story. You should give your characters, each and every one of them, a unique voice, so that when they speak your readers would be able to recognize them without your help. To be able to give them that unique voice will distinguish you as a writer.
How many times have you heard your writing teachers, coaches and other writers tell you to listen to how people talk and what they say? To open your ears to people’s conversations. Furthermore, people develop a different voice for different situations. For example, the voice you use to talk with your friend is different than the one you use with your neighbor. Notice how your voice changes with different people every time you answer the phone? That’s what you should do as a writer. You should aim to give your characters that special voice. In the words of Aberjhani:
“The reality of a serious writer is a reality of many voices, some of them belonging to the writer, some of them belonging to the world of readers at large.”
That special voice that each and every one of us has. And with the passing years some of those voices disappear from our lives. Some we let go, others we hang on to, and still others that we care about and want to hear and don’t want to let go disappear all the same. I think about all the voices of all the people that I have stopped hearing because they have left this world and it saddens me to some extent.
Yesterday was my late husband’s 58th birthday. The first birthday in 33 years without him around. Christmas and New year are still around the corner yet I don’t dare think about them without him. I can hardly accept the fact that he is gone forever and that I will never be able to see him or touch him or hear his voice again. And that hurts. Because when you have spent that much time with someone and he or she has become a great part of you, there are no reservations on what voice to use with that person.
Kahlil Gibran wrote:
“A voice cannot carry the tongue and the lips that gave it wings. Alone must it seek the ether.
And alone and without his nest shall the eagle fly across the sun.”
If only I could hear his voice again.