For some reason I've been thinking a lot about voice in my writing. The voice of any point of view character is almost as important as having a great plot. Maybe more in some stories.
In Babes in Spyland I have a handful of Super Secret Agents that all need distinctive voices. I read somewhere (probably more than one place) that a good test to see if you've got good voice is to read the character's dialogue out loud (without the tags that include their names) and see if you can tell who it is.
I'm finding this a little hard. It's easier with longer chunks of dialogue, obviously, but I'm not feeling like I'm getting it.
So I've been listening to people around me. Catching onto their favorite phrases and trying to analyze speech patterns. And no, I have no idea what I'm doing
The first thing I've found is that so much of voice in real life has to do with the tone. Tone carries SO much of our expressions.
In writing you can convey the tone with the description of facial expression, or just say what tone they used. But just reading the words?
I think I'm going to be working on this for a while. Four, female agents need distinct voices. This is my goal. Wish me luck.