Distinct character voices
A chorus of unique voices???
If my characters' voices aren't totally distinct from each other, am I a bad writer?
Sometimes I like to start my writing day by reading what famous writers have to say about writing. I find it inspires me. Unfortunately though, I read something about a week ago that has paralyzed me.
Here's what it said, though I'm paraphrasing:
"Every character you write should have a clear and distinct voice from every other character you write...and that's ever been written."
Great. I've written about 3000 drafts of a chapter book, and now I'm convinced that it's all crap. The characters are all girls of the same age from the same place. Am I supposed to give one a Southern accent, and one an urban accent, and one - what? - a speech impediment?
I'm totally blocked by this piece of "wisdom." It sounds completely reasonable, and yet how the heck do you do it? Am I just a horrible writer? Obviously I must be. I can't bring myself to work on my book, or anything else for that matter, because it just seems pointless now.
Does anyone have any tips on creating all "distinct voices"? Is it just word selection? I've heard that writing in dialect is bad, so what's a writer to do? Please help!