English is not my native language so I chew and second- and third-guess on the use/overuse or wrong use of some phrases in my WIP Novel.
I have noticed, that I use "xyz spoke softly" a couple of times and fear that sometimes the correct meaning and setting of the current act is not represented.
Also there is a character that is innately using a more soft articulation that worsens the issue I have.
So I have 4 or more different approaches to display "spoke softly" in the novel.
1. the character that has always a more soft speaking approach. How much should I remind the readers that this character is using a soft articulation? Should I rather more prominently display the differences when he is not speaking softly?
2. Speaking softly to get across an emphatic response to another character. So an emotional response.
3. Speaking softly to not bother another character. Different from whispering.
4. Trying to diffuse a situation. Not something like "held at gunpoint". just some emotional diffusing or apologizing.
Should I mix it up better, use other phrases, or should I let the setting itself speak for the correct meaning?
In some Novels I have read and that overused the phrase, I had trouble after awhile to not think that they always speak softly. And when there is a long dialog going on and no other change of the kind of dialog written into it, when does the "spoken softly" dialog end? The next sentence? the whole dialog?