Different characters speak differently. If someone reads me a letter written by an immediate relative, I can tell right away who wrote it. I believe --and correct me if I'm wrong-- that giving each major character a subtly unique way of speaking can help make the character seem more real.
What practices are used to make different characters speak differently?
I can't bear the thought of reverting to crutches such as speech impediments, favored swear-words, or noticeable accents.
And yet, I've read far too many books where I felt that the characters all spoke alike.
How can I make the differences be subtle, so that:
- Characters don't sound the same; and yet-
- The difference sounds natural, and not as if I'm forcing the characters to talk in a way they shouldn't?
Note: My question is referring to speech patterns only, not to character behavior.