changes in character dialogue

by Tina
(London, England)

Question: How do I change a characters dialogue when talking to different people; ie. Boss, friend etc?

Answer: Everyone does this, and I'm sure if you think about it you will realize you do do.

When speaking to authority figures, we tend to use fewer colloquialisms, fewer swear words, etc. out of respect and because we want to be more careful what impression we make. We want to maintain their respect (except in rare instances, such as when we are about to quit a job in anger).

For example, if your spouse of twenty years asks you a question, your reply might just be a grunt. (No need for formality with a secure, intimate relationship.) However, if your boss or clergyman or professor asks you a question, a grunt from you would be considered rude.

We might not share as much personal information with an authority as we would with a close friend. And we would share even less with a stranger.

On a first date, we might share a lot of personal information, but we would be consciously trying to present ourselves in an appealing way.

Another instance: most people censor themselves to some extent when speaking to or around children, to set a good example.

And, of course, we sometimes speak differently to different friends or relatives if we know they are sensitive to certain topics, opinions, etc.

These are just a few of the ways our speech changes according to who we are speaking to. Watch carefully, and you'll see other examples.

And, of course, a lot depends on the particular character and the feelings or attitude they have towards the person they're speaking to.

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