Did you ever have those Shakespeare quizzes in high school
in which your evil teacher gave you a list of random quotations from the play you
were studying and asked you to identify the speaker? I remember being terrified
of those quizzes in theory but enjoying them in practice. Not because they were
easy (the teacher never chose the obvious lines), but because they showed how
distinct each of Shakespeare’s characters actually were. There was a unique
brain behind each line, and as long as you knew the general qualities of that
character’s mind, you’d be able to pass.
|How did Shakespeare make his characters all sound so unique?|
1. The Sitcom Exercise
Perhaps other characters wouldn’t be so succinct and biting. Maybe they’re the type that draw it out: “Insofar as starving to death is a long, painful process that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy—yes. I’d like you to starve to death.”
2. The Disney World Exercise
3. The Grandparents Exercise
1. Never shop at a supermarket on an empty stomach.
Tell me your opinion: Have you ever struggled with your characters all sounding the same?
Related Posts: Is Your Dialogue Pulling Its Weight?
Who Said What?—Identifying Dialogue Speakers
What I Love Lucy Can Teach You About Writing Tics
Story by K.M. Weiland