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Sounds of Words Bring Characters to Life

Bring Characters to Life Copyright  © 2015 Joan Y. Edwards

Bring Characters to Life
Copyright © 2015 Joan Y. Edwards

“Sounds of Words Bring Characters to Life” by Joan Y. Edwards

Choose great words with sounds that explain your character’s traits for the dialogue in your story. Use your dialogue to tell readers almost every thing you want them to know about your characters. The words he speaks tells us if he’s educated, funny, sarcastic, sad, etc. The words you use to describe the characters actions, situations, and problems helps your readers create an image of your character in their minds. It makes your character come alive.

  • What he looks like
  • What he sounds like
  • What he fears
  • What he’s brave enough to do
  • What he’s passionate about
  • What he’s willing to die for.
  • What makes him so angry he can’t sleep at night?

Descriptions tell a lot about a character.

  • Where he lives?
  • What kind of work he does?
  • What emotion is strongest in him at this very moment?
  • What he wants more than anything else?
  • What he needs more than anything else? This could be different from what he wants. He might not know what he needs, but he’ll probably know what he wants.

Writers use the sounds of words in dialogue and the description in between to bring characters to life. The length and rhythm of words used create the mood that is in synch with the characters or a contrast to his environment.

  • Shows if characters talk rapidly and think fast on their feet.
  • Shows if a character talks slow and easy and never get in a hurry to get to the end of their sentences.
  • Shows if they have a speech impediment
  • Shows if they are physically impaired

Learn how other authors use the sound, length, and mood of words to enhance their writing. Read 10 best-selling picture books, middle grade, and young adult books. As you read them, notice how important the sound of the words are to the understanding the mood and qualities of the characters and their actions. The choice of words is what keeps us glued to the pages to find out what’s going to happen to the characters we care about.

Make a pdf file of a chapter of one of your work-in-progress manuscripts. Click on the pdf file and click on view. Activate reading aloud. Click on read to the end of the document. The computer will read your manuscript to you. Listening to it will help you realize which words fit well and which words you might want to change to add more oomph to your story. You want your words to show the mood and behavioral patterns of your characters.

Good luck with all of your writing adventures. Have fun reading and writing. Enjoy being you. You are fabulous, creative, and fun.

Here are more of my blog posts to help you bring your characters to life.


  1. What Is Your Story’s Premise? Editors Want to Know
  2. I’m at the Bottom of the Pit and the Bottom Drops Out
  3. What? I Need a Plot?
  4. Story Essential: Plot
  5. Where Should You Begin Your Story?
  6. Universal Plots and a Story that Illustrates Each
  7. Put Universal Conflict, Theme, and Emotions in Your Story
  8. 7 Questions to Make Sure Your Plot Has Believable Consequences


  1. Who’s Talking? Can You Tell by the Dialogue?
  2. What Is the Purpose of Dialogue in Your Story?
  3. Backstory: In Description, Dialogue, and Flashback
  4. Watch How People Talk
  5. Watch the Hands of People When They Talk


  1. How to Write a Good Sentence
  2. How Many Words Should Your Sentences Contain?
  3. What Is a First Page?
  4. First Lines from Non-Fiction Best Sellers
  5. Show the Inner and Outer Conflicts of Your Characters
  6. Use an Emotion Orchestra in Your Story
  7. Pull Readers in – Show Believable Emotions in Your Writing
  8. Make Your Character’s Actions Show Emotions
  9. Captivate Readers by Adding Words to Images
  10. Five Ways to Cut the Number of Words in Your Manuscript
  11. Stop Boredom: Vary the Beginnings of Your Sentences
  12. Vary Your sentences: Begin with a Different Part of Speech
  13. Put Your Readers in an Emotional Tug-of-War


  1. Eight Character Archetypes to Emphasize the Conflict in Your Story
  2. Does Your Main Character Fall into the Bottom of a Deep Pit of Trouble?
  3. 7 Ways to Add Surprise to Create a Best Seller That Readers Crave
  4. Show the Inner and Outer Conflicts of Your Characters
  5. Know Your Main Character
  6. What’s a Sidekick? What’s His Job?
  7. Make Your Character’s Actions Show Emotions
  8. 6 Ways to Make Your Characters Memorable and Enticing
  9. 12 Mistakes for Your Characters to Make
  10. Desire That Clashes with Values Equals Conflict
  11. Put Dilemmas in Your Stories for a Compelling Punch
  12. Inner Motives Lead to Conflicts of Characters
  13. Negative Behaviors Are Clues to Your Personal Needs and Those of Your Characters
  14. Do You and Your Characters Follow the Crowd’s Emotions?
  15. Make Character Pay an Arm, a Leg, and His First Child!
  16. Put Your Main Character into a Pit and Watch Him Devise Ways to Get Out
  17. Is Your Main Character’s Head Filled with Lies?
  18. 10 Shortcuts to Make Your Main Character Vulnerable and Lovable

Props, Symbols, and Such for Characters

  1. Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral? And Other Questions to Put in Your Reader’s Mind
  2. Choose a Prop to Symbolize What Your Character Is Willing to Die For (Image Prop #8)
  3. Props for Characters: Toys, Games, and Other Items
  4. Image Props for Stories #7 Pay Phone, Blue Wildflowers, and Fast-Moving River
  5. Image Props for Stories #6: Coffee Maker, Earphones, and a Lamp
  6. Image Props for Stories #5 – Love Bug, Dog/Cat, and Love letter
  7. Image Props for Stories #4: A Remote Control, a Basket of Flowers, and a Bandage
  8. Image Props for Stories #3: A Basketball, a Pillow, and a Pair of Boots
  9. Image Props for Stories #2: Bananas, Scissors, a Vacuum Cleaner, and a Ferris Wheel
  10. Does a Holiday Signify a Deep Emotion for Your Main Character?
  11. Can a World Disaster Be an Omen of Bad Things for Your Main Character?
  12. What Will Your Main Character Eat?
  13. Which Pet Would Your Main Character Love, Fear, Hate, Abuse, or Kill?
  14. Where Will Your Main Character Hide?
  15. What City or Town Will Your Main Character Call Home?
  16. What Will Your Main Character Drink?
  17. How Will Your Main Character Get from Place to Place?
  18. In What House Would Your Main Character Reside?
  19. What Shoes Would Your Main Character Wear?
  20. Put a Hat on Your Main Character or His Sidekick

Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2015 Joan Y. Edwards


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2 Responses

  1. Joan,
    I love your poster and title. What a cute character is portrayed there. I’d love to hear his dialogue and the narrative used to describe him. I also want to know a sound he might utter or a favorite phrase he’s known to say. And what about the person behind those eyes. Who is he? You have me curious. Good going!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Linda,
    Thanks for writing. I’m glad you liked the little poster and the characters I created for it. Hmm! Now you have me wondering if I should add dialogue for these guys onto this blog post. I’ll let you know if I do.

    Keep writing.
    Never Give Up

    Liked by 1 person

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