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46

First, I would not do the "translation" of your last sentence. Second, you need to understand that swear words are typically one or two syllables, and the audio effect needs to be somewhat similar. Another word for "fuck" is "intercourse", but it is nearly impossible to use "intercourse!" as a swear word, in places where we would normally say "fuck!". "...


32

Read authentic Christian voices Find works written by religious Christians on religious subjects, and read them. These can either be non-fiction works, or stories with religious themes. Ideally, you'll read both. Try to find a variety of voices, and consider how the authors' other demographics (and their specific denomination) will affect their voices as ...


23

There have been some observations of business writing/interaction that suggest that women apologize more in business settings and interrupt less. But I wouldn't consider that to be especially useful in building voice. I have 3 or 4 female characters and their voices are about as different from each other as they are from my male characters. The tool I've ...


18

Keep it consistent throughout the story and don't use lots of words. Making up one or two is better than four, and keep using those. Make his audience gasp when they hear him saying the word. Make them shake their heads at his foul language. No need to say what it means, the reader if he reads it a couple of times should catch the idea. And if they don't, ...


15

Use direct, simple, clear, imperative instructions. Passive voice and subjunctive make your language unclear and complicated for an international audience. Luckily in this respect there is no argument among the various schools of thought. For details, peruse the following style guides. Both make very instructive reading. The IBM Style Guide is my reference ...


15

Every social group has its own dialect: that's called a sociolect. As dialects, it is hard to pick a sociolect for an outsider. Think how many writers handle teenager language in a horrible way. There are two main ways to improve your understanding and fluency in a sociolect: Read, read, and read litterature by "native" speaker of the sociolect. Or watch ...


14

I think this is a good technique, I've recommended it myself elsewhere here, but it needs to align with how people really create and use words. Curse words and oaths are generally used for shock value. Euphemisms are used to clean up or soften curses. And slang is used to establish an in-group (that understands the slang) and an out-group (that doesn't). ...


13

The first thing you should do is look at the answer to this question. Then realize that this is not an issue, but something that you can use greatly to your advantage. However, you still have the problem of not having your own style. I will address that below. I am a natural mimic as well. When I started out writing, I wrote like whatever I read. I was ...


13

How do the people speaking around you, wherever you are, speak differently? How do your favorite authors give characters different voices? Here are a few ways your characters might differ: Different vocabularies Different sentence lengths and complexities Different speeds Verbosity vs brevity Some think before they speak, while others speak their immediate,...


13

Well, kind of a wide question, but you already got the hang of it: the entire worldview, it changes from character to character The whole point is having a clear idea of who your character are. As you mentioned, gender, upbringing, profession, culture, and personality are all factors that determine one character worldview and should, by all means, ...


13

There's multiple pitfalls to consider here: The first is the Uncanny Valley concern you mention in the OP - actually being able to write in the style of the time period to a suitable level of accuracy. Depending upon how far back you go it's not going to be far off attempting to write in a foreign language like a native speaker! By no means is this ...


13

Pam might also consider that some supernatural forces other than God are involved. Basically, four possibilities spring to mind: This is the legitimate voice of God speaking This is some other supernatural force, which might be heavenly angelic, or supernaturally demonic This might be a biological issue, caused by some insanity, brain tumor, or other ...


12

Perhaps the crux of the problem is you are thinking of Pam as a Baptist. While I was in the hospital, I befriended a former missionary who had spent twenty five years in China. I made the mistake of referring to him and his wife as religious. She let it pass once, but on the second time she told me she was not religious - she and her husband were people of ...


11

What Southern Baptists teach Hell is as central to the Christian mythos as Heaven. Maybe "central" is not the right term, they co-exist as a sort of carrot and stick – arguably for the same purpose, to keep one on the straight and narrow road. In Baptist specifically, the baptism is a life-changing ritual. You are "saved" or you aren't. There is no grey. ...


10

Growing up in Israel, I am surrounded by Jews. Interacting with Christian acquaintances, and reading literature written by religious Christians, there are a few things I noticed - things that stood out to me as not being what is to me "the norm". (This is not an exhaustive study. Those are broad generalisations based on relatively limited personal experience....


10

Overdoing it is worse than underdoing it. This isn't a complete answer, but remember that Christians are, before anything else, people. Yes, they might see the world differently, but then again, not that differently. It is way more off-putting to overdo the difference than to under-do it. Consider this example from Donna Leon's The Death of Faith: ‘And ...


9

Fake swear words are a staple, particularly in otherworld fantasy and science fiction. But most of the fake swear words that I can think of are real words, just not ones that are typically used as swear words. This is fairly realistic to real life, too. If you think about it, the word 'bitch' doesn't have any intrinsically scatological, sexual, or ...


8

When the reader is the focal point, it is called second person.


8

Honestly, I don't think so. A characters voice is as much how they act, perceive things and present themselves as the words/accent they have. I feel that it would soon become trite, repetitive and more than a little annoying if every character was like this. It may work for one or two, but everyone just seems a bit much. The way that people talk, the words ...


8

It is hard, I think, to create an authentic voice of a different sex because you can't get inside and hear the truth of an internal voice. I often wonder what on earth my husband's internal voice is saying when he's so quiet all the time. As for being able to tell, my first name could be either gender and when I worked as an I.T. engineer, nobody knew from ...


8

In art, there are essentially 2 ways of creating a new work in an old style. RETRO – attempts to preserve all aspects of the old style, including the themes and techniques that were appropriate to the time. a "retro-noir" film will be set in Los Angeles in the 1930s. It will incorporate themes that were explored in the original works, like political ...


7

The passive voice is a grammatical tool, and like any tool it can be overused. However, passive voice does have legitimate uses; there are times it makes sense to use it. This is particularly the case in fiction and personal essays, where mood is important and economy of phrasing can contribute to pacing. Casting absolutely everything into the active voice ...


7

The other answers are good but they strike me as abstract. Maybe I'm a philistine, but I like my advice concrete and practical. Different people naturally use different: Vocabulary Sentence length Sentence structure (think balance of simple and complex sentences) Register (which is a mix of things, but roughly 'level of formality') Patterns of thought (...


7

Passive voice gets a bad reputation. We're taught to avoid it at all costs. For the most part that's correct, too. It's dull, slows the sentence, and is often vague. If you're writing end user documentation, you should have a style guide and follow it. There's nothing wrong with active voice and even using "you" as long as it's the style you want, along with ...


7

In general --and of course, this varies widely for actual individuals --my own personal sense is that women tend to be more aware of, interested in, and concerned about a wide and constantly shifting network of interpersonal social relationships. They also tend to be more self-reflective and more consciously aware of their emotions and their motivations. ...


7

Answering another question I got into a back and forth with regard to 'write what you know' vs 'research'. This is an area where 'write what you know' certainly wins out. The limit and breadth of your characters is governed by how many impressions you can do. Note that I used 'back and forth' rather than 'debate' or 'argument' - stole that little gem from ...


6

Why not use all three? Write it in third person and alternate chapters from different POVs. I love reading books that do that. You could have a main character that gets the most chapters or you could make all three of your choices equal in importance, as long as they each have interesting storylines. You sound like you've fleshed out your outlining and ...


6

Go with your gut. Quit worrying about voice. Get it down on paper, walk away, come back and revise it, find a beta or pay an editor. Let your reader worry about the passive voice for the first draft. Tell the person to keep an eye out for it, and if your reader comes back with "yeah, this part sounded egregious," you can cut it. You're letting the perfect ...


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