Every second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, MYSTERY OF CHARACTER FEATURING SHANNON MUIR focuses on the art and craft of writing, from Shannon’s perspective or give you insight on her process as an author. These are usually quick brainstorm thoughts of whatever idea has come to her in recent days on a topic. To catch up on all posts, check out the MYSTERY OF CHARACTER FEATURING SHANNON MUIR portion of the website!
This week features Shannon’s thoughts about using sound-alike words or words with multiple meaning when it comes to designing a character’s personality.
I’ve talked before about dialogue and word choice. One thing it occurred to me I haven’t unpacked is the fact that words can have multiple meanings, or sound-alikes that can completely redirect and mislead if heard incorrectly by a story’s characters. If used correctly, this can make for a lot of fun in writing.
The hard part involves having readers that are able to understand the nuances in meaning, especially if constantly misusing sound-alike words is part of a character’s personality. In these cases, it might be effective to reinforce in description what a character actually meant to say in the dialogue, versus automatically assuming readers understand the word play.
Until next time,