So, I've noticed that my writing group has been flagging issues across multiple stories with the characters sounding both like each other and like characters from my other stories in their dialogue. I usually get props on the dialogue itself, just the lack of differentiation. I do try to differentiate (regional dialect, varrying rules on profanity usage, pet phrases), but if it's not coming through than I should try and do more. So, does anyone have any tips or tricks on making sure characters speak differently? Also a separate question - how important would you consider it if people flag that a lot of characters tend to have similar outlooks across multiple stories? I get a lot that I write a lot of characters who are snappy with their dialogue and have sarcastic, cynical outlooks on life. Part of the reason I write those people is that I enjoy writing them (and I one case I purposefully stocked a story full of them because I wanted to create a pressure-cooker effect on the MC). And the last one - does it really matter if the cast of one story reminds a reader of the cast of another one of my stories? I've been working on a novella and one critique I keep getting is that it "feels similar to your novel"...which for me the answer to that is "Well, yes, it is written in my style. So?" So - to review - would I be correct in assuming that the issues in paragraphs 1 and 2 (dialogue similarities and characters with overlapping worldviews) are important issues that I need to look at, while the third issue (similarities between entirely different stories) is okay and maybe even positive?