Dialects and Characters
I have already written about character development, which you check out here. But allow me to go into it a little further. Characters are what move the story forward. Well-written characters make the reader become involved and invested. We want to feel their emotions and care if they die or if bad things happen. Or good things too. These characters keep us on the edge of our seats and keep turning the pages. Here are a few things to consider when making a character that jumps off the page.
You want to research the dialects depending on where you are basing your story. I was born in Philadelphia and moved to South Jersey when I was 6. I say water differently, some vowels are exaggerated, and I say soda rather than pop. To bring in the experience and make it more authentic look into where the story takes place. How might they greet each other or react to different situations?
Besides dialects, think about how people would dress, and how they would do their makeup. Within my own town, depending on what side of the “tracks” you came from, dictated the clothes you wore and the stores you frequented. Think about some normal conversations you may have with your friends. I can tell mine I was at Walmart or Target. Then there are others who shop at Macy’s or Nordstrom. I personally get my designer bags from eBay, so much cheaper. But there are people who go to the Coach store. I might press my face to the window but never walk in.
To further the deep dive into the character, we want to see how they are family oriented. Are they religious? How would they react to different situations because they were raised a certain way? Knowing their day-to-day thinking is a good way to write them about a situation that happens and then their immediate reactions. If they don’t have a family unit, how would they react to someone who does? All things to think about are their psychological profile, outside appearance, and the way they communicate.
Don’t think you need to do this for every single character in your story. You will have filler or NPCs (non-playable characters) is you will. They just need either a name or designation with a basic description. But you want the people that surround the main character and protagonist to have personality and depth. This all brings that richer story to the page and to your readers.
I will be writing about character sketches, as well as creating a document to share to help you on that journey. I hope this helped a little and gave you a new perspective on the characters you are creating. They are a part of you. Bring out that personality and all the different sides of yourself. Good luck!