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November 05 2009

All Your Characters Talk the Same? Look to Joss Whedon for Help! io9 gives writers of any kind out there tips on how to give characters distinct and separate voices, and give a shout out to Joss Whedon about his particular abilities to develop very unique spins on a select number of voices.

I liked this article, and this is one of the reasons I read io9. A lot of writers seem to have to have a type of character they seem to pluck out of somewhere and bring somewhere else, Josh Schwartz comes to mind when discussing one character in three different series: Chuck Bartowski in Chuck, Seth Cohen in The OC and Dan Humphrey in Gossip Girl all seem to be incarnations of Josh himself. The nerdy mumbling comical [improv] guy. Chuck and Seth are the best, though, obviously. ;p

I love that Joss' somewhat familiar reading characters are so completely different when you actually see them in action. Unlike Josh's.


Speaking of how characters talk, one can have fun with it:

Anya: I can just hear you in private. "I dislike that Anya. She's newly human, and strangely literal."

Willow: What? I don't say that. No one says that. No one talks that way.
Was Xander a nerd?
I believe Xander was a dweeb.
Willow was a nerd, Xander was more of a dork (and thus my favorite character).
Oh, so these terms have specific definitions now :-)? "It's a misnomer. The screech owl shrieks; the barn owl screeches."
This is one of the main reasons I love Joss so much! His characters all have very unique dialogue, and without even thinking about it, I always know exactly who is speaking. This-besides the obvious noncanon issue-is the reason I don't read the many Buffy novels and comics that are not sanctioned by Joss. IMO, every character sounds exactly the same (I also don't read fanfic b/c of this and the rather poor quality). I don't mean any disrespect to these writers, I'm sure they are very good with their own original characters (and most assuredly better than most anything I'll ever write), but I don't think anyone can capture our beloved characters the way Joss and his handpicked writers can.

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