I’ve talked about various facets of dialogue before, but I want to specifically address the vocal aspect of written dialogue.
I’ve read dialogue that was so bland I couldn’t tell anything about the characters behind it. Don’t let that happen! Writers needs to put character into their characters. Examine each of your characters: where they’re from, their background and education, their personality. Such things can help decide accents and patterns of speech.
Ever read J.R.R. Tolkien’s Fellowship of the Ring? In the Council of Elrond, we have many different speakers of different races, cultures, ages—each one has their own voice. He did an amazing job. It sounds more like he was merely a reporter sitting unnoticed in a corner taking notes than an author writing dialogue.
So, how do you go about creating that uniqueness in your characters’ voices and dialogue? What helps you in the process? Do you have tricks such as casting actors in the roles to give a face and voice to the character?