Dialogue is a vital part of a comic, book or movie.
Well - usually it is. There are surely some comics out there who have none. There's prose, such as many children's stories or fables that are all or mostly action and description - and since the rise of sound in movies ('the talkie'!)…well, there's usually…yeah. You see what I'm saying. Generally, characters are going to be talking at some point.
An easy trap a writer can fall into is having all their characters sounds like the writer, or how the writer wants to sound.
As you're figuring out your Protagonist, Antagonist, Sidekicks, Mentors, Love Interests and Bit Players, fleshing out those characters in whatever way you go about it, it can be worth figuring out some little quirks and personality to their dialogue. It might happen naturally as you develop the characters. But if it doesn't, you could try:
- giving them a little verbal tic or habitual word they say.
“Jehosephat.” (Elijah Baley)
“Humbug!” (Ebenezer Scrooge)
- some classic comic characters would say one word in their native tongue, to remind us where they're from. While speaking English the rest of the time. So “Ja”, “Da”, “Nyet” and “mon chere” would show up a lot from certain nationalities. A bit cheesy, maybe. But it worked!
- Maybe they ask a lot of rhetorical questions, which they answer themselves. Or they bark out the name of their assistant constantly.
Going a bit deeper, you can think about whether your character is mostly optimistic or pessimistic. Or whether they're Logical-minded or Creative-minded. Stuff like that.
Giving a little quirk to some of your characters (maybe not all, but some) can be a nice way to set them apart and enrich your stories and the people in them.
Have a good one!
Banes at 12:00AM, Feb. 7, 2019
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