Speech and Thought Through Personality .
How do you apply that in practical terms when it comes to communicating characterization without exposition?
People in different eras have unique speech and speech patterns, but restrain yourself from indulging in periodization in your historical novel; if your Elizabethan-era characters talk like Shakespeare’s, people:
1) won’t understand much of what they say and
2) will be distracted by your forced — and fatally flawed — attempt at authenticity.
The extent to which characters will express their ideas and opinions, or ruminate about them, and the language with which they will do so, depends on a few other factors:
People of different generations and different social backgrounds generally speak differently. Geriatric characters should exhibit speech and speech patterns distinct from juvenile ones and consistent with norms unless an exception is a deliberate dramatic point — for instance, if a teenager who has switched bodies with an elderly person is trying to pass vocally as well as visually as a senior citizen.
Further individualization of characters makes fiction writing more vivid. How does one’s personality affect words and thoughts? A repressed person’s speech patterns will differ significantly from an extrovert’s. A tense, angry character will exhibit different rhythms of speech and thought than a carefree individual.
In essence, capitalize on your knowledge of individual characters to establish vocabulary and modes of speech and thought, as well as on familiarity with societal norms for speaking and thinking appropriate to the era in which your characters live.