Adjust your character’s spoken language to the situation

How do you speak? What words do you use? Ask yourself these questions and take note of how they change depending on the situation.

If you think about how you speak in different situations you will notice you probably use different words and ways of talking depending on whom you talk to. I am sure you do not speak to your parents the same way you speak to your friends! You probably don’t use the same words in church or in class as you do when watching football with your friends.

It is precisely the same with your character in the PBEM (Play by Email) game. Depending on the situation he or she will use different words and act differently.

Think about who your character is and on what level its language is. The language used in everyday situation without thinking about how to behave or what to say. Then adjust the level to the situation. When talking to a superior or a person of higher status, adjust the language up one or two levels.

Having the character making mistakes and using language inappropriate for the situation makes for great comic effect though. Not all characters know how to, or want, to adjust to a situation and blend in so you will have to think about how your character would react.

Using yourself as an example is a great way to improve the way you portrait your character. Think about how you react to a situation and compare that to how your character would react. That way it is easier to “be” the character, to enter its mind and think like it.

So, think about how your character talks and how you are going to write it. Adjust the language to the situation just like you do in real life, but also think about who the character is – perhaps blending in is not how it would react. You decide!