Thursday, April 25, 2013

Voice

"The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it does not rest until it has gained a hearing." ~Sigmund Freud

Voice makes a writer recognizable, unique and special. Yet it's something many authors struggle with. It's well worth the effort to find your own personal writing voice. It's the very thing that will make your manuscript stand out among the throngs. 

Finding your voice

  • Don't try to copy anyone else. Trying to mimic another author is one of the surest ways to lose your voice. Write like you, from your thoughts and the things in your head and heart.
  • Keep your inner critic locked away until it's time to edit. That nagging little whisper in your head will always tell you something sounds stupid if it's allowed free during first drafts.  
  • Figure out who you're telling this story to and write it as if you were actually telling them the story. If you're imagining you're telling it to your best friend, your voice will most likely be more intimate and relaxed than if you're telling it to a group of strangers. Are you telling your mother, your children? 
  • Use the words you normally use. Resist the urge to sound writerly or smart by throwing in words that will send readers to a dictionary. That's a great way to pull them out of the story world. It's also a sure way to lose your voice.   
  • Have confidence in your own voice. Think of your favorite authors and how unappealing it would be if they all sounded alike. They probably wouldn't be your favorite authors. You could be someones favorite author one day. You're voice is worth it.

Tomorrow's post - Writing  

18 comments:

  1. When one has confidence in them selves they don't need to mimic anyone else. so I suppose the secret is the word confidence.

    Yvonne.

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  2. Voice is something I've never struggled with. My characters always show up with their own distinct rhythm and language. I even find myself dreaming in their shoes sometimes. Which is weird because their thoughts are not like mine....

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  3. What a great post. Finding your voice is essential in writing. And I for one struggle with it.

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    1. It is one of the most essential aspects to a story, in my opinion.

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  4. Cool writing tips. I definitely think learning to trust yourself and your abilities as a writer makes it easier to develop authenticity in your writing voice. :-)

    Slithers of Thought (WR)

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    1. Yes, you can't worry about what other people might think.

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  5. Wonderful advice and something I have to remind myself on a daily basis. I have a harsh inner critic.

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    1. There is a time and place for that inner critic, but it is so crucial to lock him away during first drafts.

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  6. Such awesome advice! I definitely think voice can make or break a book!

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  7. Very good. For most writers, finding their voice is hard. The best way is to write. And write some more.

    Good to meet you through A-Z.

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    1. True. Writing a lot can help develop and strengthen your voice.

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  8. Great post! Voice is one of the most intriguing things when reading a novel and therefore one of the most important when writing.

    Have fun with the rest of a-z. :)

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  9. I'm always accidentally copying the writing styles of other authors. I'm just a chameleon!

    Thanks for the tips!

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  10. This is such great advice. Now, if I could just get my voice to tell me how to punctuate...

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