on Fiction University:
If you want memorable characters, don’t forget to give them unique voices.
One of my earliest experiences with how voice affected fiction was in seventh grade, when my English teach played us a record (yes, record, I’m dating myself here) of Harlan Ellison reading his short story, “Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktock Man. Not only was I blown away by the story, but by the way Ellison crafted the narrative. The voice was unique.
It wasn’t until years later I learned there was a difference between author voice and character voice, but the lesson on “strong voice = strong story” had been stamped into my brain. Character voice is simply an extension of author voice.
A well-crafted character steps off the page and into readers’ hearts, and a big part of that is their voice. Readers can see personality in the words that character uses, in the thoughts they think, and things they choose to say–or not say.