Hello Colubrina, I just read your writing advice page (thank you so much for setting that up) however, I do still have a question. the majority of my characters sound very similar (dialogue patterns, nervous ticks etc). I am aware that differentiation will come in time the more I read and write, but if you have any tips for doing so that would be wonderful. I am currently struggling with writing male characters, most of them are too happy, energetic, adventurous... almost a caricature, not real.
I think a lot of that is practice and in a year you’ll do things without thinking about them that right now require conscious effort, but thing I sometimes do is write dialogue out then, in revision, start to shift things. Like…. does one character use elaborate vocabulary naturally while another uses the most direct speech possible. If direct-speaker uses a polysyllabic word, I change it. Does one character always hedge and turn things into a question? Does one use geographically specific slang? It helps to eavesdrop in public places and note how real people talk and then steal their cadence
That said, I’m honestly about ¾ of the way through a bestseller and the three main male characters have interchangeable speech patterns. I’m not sure it’s really that important.
I probably totally didn’t answer your question in any useful way. I’m sorry. Does anyone else have suggestions?