How do I differentiate between the “voices” of my characters in a multi-character POV?

Asked by: Erin Doyle

How do you distinguish a character’s voice?

7 Effective Ways to Give Your Characters Unique Voices

  1. It’s Not About Accents and Syntax. …
  2. Read the Dialogue Aloud. …
  3. Cover the Character Names. …
  4. Eliminate Unnecessary Exposition Dialogue. …
  5. Identify Character Types. …
  6. Identify Character Traits. …
  7. Action Speaks Louder Than Words.


How do you handle multiple POV characters?

Here are a few rules to follow when working with multiple POV:

  1. Give each POV character a clearly distinct voice. …
  2. Create distinct character arcs for each POV character. …
  3. Don’t write the same scene from multiple POVs. …
  4. Make sure to fully identify which POV you’re using.


How do you tell a story from multiple perspectives?

5 Tips for Writing From Multiple Points of View

  1. Hone in on the most important character. …
  2. Use different perspectives to build characters. …
  3. Stick to one point of view for each scene. …
  4. Clearly define perspective shifts. …
  5. Give each character a unique perspective and voice.


How many POV characters is too many?

Having two or three POV characters usually works well. Having more than that can not only confuse your reader but make it hard for you as a writer too. Each point-of-view character needs a unique voice. If you’re juggling too many, you might find you run out of ideas or ways to differentiate between voices.

What are the different types of voices in writing?

Voice in writing has three distinct meanings. There’s the author’s voice, the character’s voice and the narrator’s voice.

How do you analyze voice in literature?

In analyzing voices, you must identify the voices that appear in the text, see how they fit together, and understand how the author uses those voices to create his or her own voice and to make his or her own statement.

Can you write multiple POVs in first person?

Can I have multiple narrators in first person? Yes. This is called Multiple Viewpoint First Person. You get all the benefits of writing in a particular person’s voice and the intimate view inside their head, as well as the benefits of multiple perspectives.

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How do you write a scene with multiple characters?

Four Tips for Writing Scenes with Many Characters

  1. Stick to a single point of view. Stay in one character’s point of view throughout the scene. …
  2. No more than four or five speakers (maybe six) …
  3. Don’t introduce any new characters in this scene. …
  4. Try to use as much dialogue as possible, but use tags to keep it clear.


Can you switch from first person to third person in a story?

If you execute your story well, you can switch between first person and third person smoothly. The second part of the question was whether a dead person can narrate a story. Sanhita’s critics say he can’t do that.

How do you outline a novel with multiple POVS?


So just a little tip there if you're trying to figure out multiple POV. One of the sad things is that most books on plot will touch only on single POV.

Can you switch POV in a book?

If you’re writing a series, alternate POV can be useful to change things up and sustain interest throughout multiple books. It’s okay to shake up your pattern a bit with each book. Some series add a new character’s perspective to the mix in the second or third novel as they become more relevant to the plot.

Why do authors use multiple narrators?

Sometimes a story is bigger than a single character or is better conveyed through the perspective of more than one character. In order to show the reader more than what any one character knows and still maintain a closeness to the characters, authors might need to use multiple points of view.

What makes a voice distinctive?

The sound of each individual’s voice is entirely unique not only because of the actual shape and size of an individual’s vocal cords but also due to the size and shape of the rest of that person’s body, especially the vocal tract, and the manner in which the speech sounds are habitually formed and articulated.

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What is the voice of a character?

Character voice refers to the unique way that a character in a novel or short story expresses themselves outwardly and inwardly. A character’s voice can be communicated through a character’s personality, a character’s thoughts, and the way that character sounds.

How do you express voice in writing?

5 Steps to Find Your Writer’s Voice

  1. Determine your point of view. …
  2. Pick a consistent voice for your narrators. …
  3. Think about sentence structure and word choice. …
  4. Find a balance between description and dialogue. …
  5. Write all the time.


What is a husky voice?

If someone’s voice is husky, it is low and rather rough, often in an attractive way. […] huskily adverb [ADVERB after verb]

How do you describe someone’s voice in a story?

Words used to describe someone’s voice – thesaurus

  • adenoidal. adjective. if someone’s voice is adenoidal, some of the sound seems to come through their nose.
  • appealing. adjective. …
  • a voice like a foghorn. phrase. …
  • breathy. adjective. …
  • brittle. adjective. …
  • croaky. adjective. …
  • dead. adjective. …
  • disembodied. adjective.

How do you find narrative voice?

6 Steps to Create a Memorable Character Voice for Your Book

  1. Choose the Right Point of View. This is critical. …
  2. Understand Your Character and His Background. …
  3. Choose Your Character’s Unique Phrases and Rhythms. …
  4. Find the Emotion (aka the Conflict) …
  5. Have Fun. …
  6. Experiment. …
  7. Wordplayers, tell me your opinion!


What is the difference between narrative voice and Focalisation?

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FOCALISER AND A NARRATOR? A narrator is the character telling the story. The focaliser is the character who ‘sees’ the story taking place.

What type of voice is used in narrating a story?

Narrative voice is the perspective the story is told from. The writer chooses a narrative voice carefully, as it can have an important effect on the story and the reader’s response. A character within the story is telling the story. Some of the main personal pronouns used are I, my, me, we.

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How many types of narrative voices are there?

In a moment, we’ll work through three types of narration: first person, second person, and third person.

What is 3rd person narration?

In third-person narration, the narrator exists outside the events of the story, and relates the actions of the characters by referring to their names or by the third-person pronouns he, she, or they. Third-person narration can be further classified into several types: omniscient, limited, and objective.

What is it called when the narrator speaks to the reader?

Most of the time, our narrators are speaking directly to our readers. We may not do so as directly as Charlotte Bronte (“Reader, I married him.”) but it is implied, no matter the voice that we’re using.

How do we separate narration from dialogue?

Well, dialogue is generally separated from narration by being put in quotation marks. Also, you always start a new paragraph when you switch to a different speaker.

What is it called when an author speaks through a character?

As a literary technique, an author surrogate (also called an author avatar) is a fictional character based on the author.

What is 1st 2nd and 3rd person examples?

I, me, my, mine, myself, we, our, ours, ourselves — First person. You, your, yours, yourself — Second person. She, her, hers, herself, he, him, his, himself, they, them, themselves, their, theirs — Third person.

Is 4th person a thing?

The term fourth person is also sometimes used for the category of indefinite or generic referents, which work like one in English phrases such as “one should be prepared” or people in people say that…, when the grammar treats them differently from ordinary third-person forms.

Is there a 6th person point of view?

From a sixth person perspective, one perceives humanity and the Earth system as a dynamic whole consisting of impermanent patterns of material and information flows. It is, according to O’Fallon, the first place where one sees the true simplicity on the other side of complexity.