“Remember that you should be able to identify each character by what he or she says. Each one must sound different from the others. And they should not all sound like you.” –ANNE LAMOTT
I have been reading tons of scripts lately and once again this is the BIGGEST problem I see. The characters all sound exactly the same.
You must make sure the characters have their own voice. If you want some great examples of character watch any Coen Brothers film, or any Cameron Crowe film (been meaning to blog on him specifically) and watch tons of TV, GOOD television always has great characters.
I read two scripts yesterday for a contest and one of them nailed this. The characters were all unique and the dialogue told me that. The way they spoke. What they said. It was all very individual. This is what you must do, or the script is nothing more than a story in the 3rd person told by you to us, and even then, the characters must be different.
Some great characters who have unique voice.
Gregory House, Brian Kinney, Frasier Crane, Niles Crane, George Jefferson, Mr. White, Luther, Don Draper, Phoebe Buffay, Barney Stinson, Samantha Jones, Monica Geller, Hank Moody, Kramer, George Costanza, Miranda Bailey.
Character is everything. How they speak, how they dress, how they gesture, how they relate to others, is what tells us who they are.