One of the key signs of a well-written character is when the reader is able to identify them with a single line of dialogue. It’s that feeling of I’d know that character anywhere . How are authors able to perfect this art? By finding their character voice.

“Voice” is a relatively broad term, so let’s break it down a little. By finding your character’s voice, you’re finding that spark that makes them unique. Specifically, you’re able to figure out in what unique ways they speak, think, and write. If you pay attention to the way your friends and family communicate, they all have different voices.

Generally speaking, a recent high school graduate shouldn’t be tossing around the words “acumen” or “parsimonious” in everyday conversation. Similarly, a woman with a PhD probably isn’t going to use text speak.

One of the key signs of a well-written character is when the reader is able to identify them with a single line of dialogue. It’s that feeling of I’d know that character anywhere . How are authors able to perfect this art? By finding their character voice.

“Voice” is a relatively broad term, so let’s break it down a little. By finding your character’s voice, you’re finding that spark that makes them unique. Specifically, you’re able to figure out in what unique ways they speak, think, and write. If you pay attention to the way your friends and family communicate, they all have different voices.

Generally speaking, a recent high school graduate shouldn’t be tossing around the words “acumen” or “parsimonious” in everyday conversation. Similarly, a woman with a PhD probably isn’t going to use text speak.

An earlier version of this article originally appeared in the Computer Game Developer's Association Report , April 1995.

C reative use of video game speech can grab players' attention and engage their emotions, allowing them to identify with characters who might otherwise seem flat and lifeless.

The Simpsons TV show is an acknowledged masterpiece of voice design. Imagine removing the distinctive voices of Bart, Homer, Marge, her chain-smoking sisters, etc., and replacing them with generic voices. It wouldn't quite be the same, would it? Voice design can be just as important in the world of video games.

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