“Voice” is a term used in writing to convey the unspoken personality of the author. The part which makes your writing definably and obviously yours. At least, that’s what I think it means. For an industry based 100% around using words, the professionals latch onto some seriously strange lingo at times, so maybe after all this time I’m still misunderstanding what a “voice” is.
But that’s not what I’m interested in talking about. I mean the character’s actual spoken voices.
I’m Australian, born and bred, but I default to a vaguely proper British accent (the Queen’s English) for many of my characters. It could have something to do with the fantasy genre which I write for most frequently; we’re kind of indoctrinated to having medieval fantasy, with British accents on all the characters (especially when pictured in film). It seems to be my standard fall-back option, but it works well enough. It’s different enough from my everyday to be interesting to me.
There have been times where my characters are from a specific real-world location. Those characters always happily exist with their proper accents. Australian, Japanese, or locality-specific locations in the USA (who do have some of the most amazingly varied types of accents I’ve ever experienced, next to the Brits) have made their appearances in some stories.
I think I stick to familiar accents, just for the simplicity of it. As amusing as a Welsh character would be to create and read (I’m looking at you, Jacob), I just have that much more experience with Aussies or Americans.
This, of course, all makes the “read it out loud” part of editing my work into a very humourous exercise. I try to do it privately, to save my family from the bad accents I’m putting on (and save myself the embarrassment!). I’m no voice actor. But I know my character’s voices.