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I am writing a fantasy series. I am a new writer. I am almost done with the first draft of the first book, I have about 400 pages. Everyone who has read my work, even complete strangers that I have emailed to get honest feedback, have said it is amazing. I’m not so sure. Upon self-editing for the seventh time, I noticed something absolutely horrible, that would immediately disqualify my book for publication. All of my characters sound exactly the same, despite having wildly different and colorful home towns, backstories, appearances, accents, and ages. I have read every article, watched every YouTube video, and I can’t seem to find a way to change it. What do I do?

Let me be more specific with my problem.

Sometimes I actually switch the dialogue tag to make someone else say it, and it sounds fine. If I didn’t put in any dialogue tags, you wouldn’t be able to tell who was talking.

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This one's pretty simple, I think.

Hello fellow new contributor! Let's see if I can help you out here!

I'm a 13 year old writer and I almost had this same problem. But, luckily, I fixed it. And it wasn't nearly as hard as I had thought it would be.

All it takes is a little bit of experience with your characters. You have to get to know your character before you can do anymore here. I think the problem here might be that you're writing your book without really "transporting" yourself into the dimension with them. After you get to know your characters well enough, it'll be easy enough to distinguish how your characters should sound when they talk. If this doesn't work though, than I'd just say study the way people around the world, or even people you know, talk. Then figure out the personalities of all of your characters, and match the way they talk with the way the specific person talks.

Overall though, I feel like that's how most novels are. It's pretty hard to make someone talking sound different than another person talking when all you can really do is put dialogue tags and hope it works, as well as putting how they said it after the sentence. If nothing I said here works than I really don't have anything else for you. I just really wanted to respond because I know it really sucks having a really important question that no one will answer. And plus, I'm sure you want reputation just as much as I do lol.

Good luck!

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Just like Playing D&D

I've run into this problem a few times, although the characters were across different stories and then everything started to sound the same in different settings. My solution? I role-played my characters, even in one case made a dnd character sheet. Writing down your characters personality/traits/pet peeves and constantly checking that against your story will help you brighten it up a bit. Put yourself in their position and figure out what they say/do. The little details make a big difference.

Side note-sounds like a really cool story, could I get a link?

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Hmm, that's a good question. Now that I think about it, I feel like my story also has the same problem!

So I think that to make your characters talk differently. Let me give you a example. Let's have a poetic girl, a average girl, and the cool girl. The poetic girl's greetings might sound poetic, the average girl might greet someone with a casual "hi, how are you?", while the cool girl might be something like "what's up?"

This answer sounds a bit cringey, but I hope you get the idea. Hope this helps! Good luck on your writing journey!

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