I'm currently working on what I hope to be a near final draft of my first ever novel. Something I've struggled with through this writing process is developing a voice for my narrator as well as my characters.
My novel is a third-person narration and because of this I'm having a hard time figuring out the voice that I want my narrator to have and what kind of voice they should have. The narrator, being third person has all the information I have as the author (obviously) but I want the story to be written as the characters experience it. Similar to something like Harry Potter or the Maze Runner, the characters are thrown into a world that they don't know much about and I want the reader to be able to learn alongside the characters. When writing from this outside perspective, I have a hard time imagining the narrator being anything but God like or a very wise old man with a long grey beard and imagining how one like that might speak is just not the right style for this kind of novel. How does a writer create voice for a third person narrator? Do they need a voice? Should they just take on the voice of the current POV character?
Next part is the characters and this I know is important. My novel focuses on two main characters, one boy and one girl (not romantic) and two other secondary characters (the secondary characters are basically there the whole time but they kind of just tag along on the journey so to speak). Because I have four characters of similar age who are constantly together I feel it's extra important to give them each a very distinct voice so that in dialogue it's obvious who's speaking just by their word choice and demeanor. So, I guess I'm mostly looking for tips on how to develop a voice that doesn't come naturally to me. How do writers balance themselves and stay consistent when switching constantly between two to four different "voices" throughout their work?
Any help related to developing a character/narrators voice is appreciated!