Self-editing and Critiquing #6

While some characters have obvious actions and tones of voice others are harder to distinguish. In the novel I’m editing I have a mother daughter combo as main characters. Since they are family my mind made them seem similar, with obvious differences in age, and less obvious differences in their life goals. 

But my beta readers have been saying that it is hard to figure out which one is speaking at which time because they are too similar. I’m trying to figure out the best way to fix this. 

It might be fun to make up some slang words for the daughter to use, but the mother doesn’t. Of course I don’t want to make it harder on the reader either. Making them remember what each word means, or worse look it up each time in a glossary, would take away from the story.

I had been trying to give each character word preferences, and I did make an attempt to have the mother use shorter more statement like sentences.Then again I wrote this during National Novel Writing Month. What I concentrated on one day was completely forgotten the next. I will attempt to add these differences more often throughout the novel, while small I do think they will help. If that doesn’t work I’ll have to go with my back up plan; give my characters catch phrases.

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