Everyone believes in something. Even Atheists. The problem arises when that something, isn’t the same thing as someone else’s something. Worse yet, when those two someones who believe in different things use the same words for them. Differences over the meaning of “god” have caused wars. There have been great upheavals when two powerful people have looked at the same ancient text and decided that it tells them radically different things about how to live.
Every character – well really every person – has their own unique voice. The challenge for any author is to translate that voice onto the page. In mainstream fiction – you know, the stuff that’s set here and now – almost all of the characters are human and the uniqueness comes from where they grew up and other life circumstances. I’m not going to say that keeping all your human characters’ voices distinct isn’t a challenge.
Try this: Go someplace public where you can eavesdrop on someone else’s conversation and listen carefully. I’m not interested in what other people are saying here, but how they are saying it. Listen to how they form their phrases, when they switch speakers, how often the over-talk each other, etc. Now go one step further and write it down – exactly as they said it – and see what you’ve got.
A mess –