How to Write a Character Speech: Meaning, Aim & Great Tips

Knowing how to write a character speech is useful for any story. A character’s speech in literature is analogous to an actor’s appearance and outfit in the film.

In literature, both the content and delivery of a character’s speech significantly impact the reader. Each character should have a unique speaking style.

This article gives an overview of what a character overview entails, its purpose, and how to write one flawlessly.

What Is a Character Speech?

A character speech is an address that speaks to a person’s values and beliefs, crafted with passionate emotion and vivid imagery. It can be an inspiring call to action or a thought-provoking reflection on life.

Using clear and concise language, the speaker conveys his personal experience and expertise on the topic while incorporating concrete examples where appropriate.

The tone of the speech should have some humanity to it – lively, conversational, and meaningful rather than robotic or clinical in its delivery.

What’s the Purpose of a Character Speech?

A character speech should be descriptive, providing the audience details about the character’s present and past.

Its purpose is essential to storytelling because it helps the audience understand the type of person the character is. As a writer, the character speech should lay out the character’s personality, beliefs or values, aspirations, and hopes.

The purpose of a character’s speech is not just to make the character seem more human but to add dimension to the surface.

How to Write a Character Speech Perfectly

If you want to write a character speech, here are a few considerations:

How to write a character speech
Photo by Tanya Dusett on Unsplash

1. Make the Voices of Your Characters Suit Their Location and Era

Excellent dialogue illuminates its participants. Who is this individual? Why do they communicate this way? What peculiar curse words or expressions are unique to their era or hometown?

Well-executed dialogue develops people, bringing a rich dimension to the story’s personalities. One method to create great dialogue is to have it represent the location and time of the characters.

In Shakespeare’s plays, the characters’ use of antiquated language provides a strong feeling of an earlier era. Characters use ‘thy’ and ‘thou’ in place of ‘your’ and ‘you,’ for example.

Period-appropriate dialogue helps develop setting and context. Readers will be confused if your character lives in the twenty-first century but speaks as if they are in the eighteenth century. The converse also holds. If an adolescent in the 19th century speaks as if it is the 21st century, this can jar the reader out of the story.

So, how can you make the characters’ speech reflect their location and time?

  • Use occasional terminology suited to the period in discourse.
  • Ensure that characters do not employ more contemporary vocabulary than their historical period. If you’re uncertain when a phrase was coined, look out its origin on Google.
  • Use regional accent details

The third recommendation should be utilized sparingly. Attempting to mimic how different cultures talk using written accents might lead to the creation of stereotypes. This is especially true when sensitive concerns like culture or ethnicity are involved. This post offers advice on establishing regional speech patterns without relying on preconceptions.

2. Display the Various Qualities of the Characters in Their Speech

What do we mean when we refer to the “voice” of a character? In characterization, ‘Voice’ relates to two aspects:

  • The way a person’s voice sounds to the ear—details such as pitch, loudness, and placement (is it nasal or throaty?).
  • The personality emerges from a character’s manner of expression. Do they appear direct and bold? Or is their tone soft, courteous, and reserved?

Think for a moment about people you know well. Write out an adjective that you feel best describes their voice. What causes this result? Are they audible? Soft-spoken? Confident? Self-doubting? Comical?

Include concise voice descriptors while drafting character sketches for your outline. Decide:

  • What a character’s general personality will be: Will they be sanguine, gloomy, plodding and pragmatic, irritable, and aggressive?
  • How do these personality traits manifest in your character’s voice? An irritated character may frequently cuss, whereas a gloomy one may enjoy groaning.
  • Consider other aspects of communication, such as whether a character speaks or listens more.

Remember to employ gestures or beats to add even more charm to your characters’ speech. These may support or contradict a character’s statements.

They also allow you to be more subtle when describing a character’s feelings while speaking. Does the character use dramatic, oversized gestures when speaking?

Could your character have regular, memorable motions, such as running a hand over her hair or polishing his glasses? Realistic dialogue depicts the character as a fully realized individual, not merely a talking head.

Final Words

The tips mentioned above on how to write a character speech are merely a starting point. Make sure to be creative, personal, and open-minded when writing.

How to Write a Character Speech: Meaning, Aim & Great Tips

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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