I’ve spent many years trying to find my own “Voice.” Don’t we all?
For me, voice is what I look for in other writers, as well. The writers I gravitate towards write Raw. Real. Kick Ass. No Bullshit. words. You know who you are. I love you. I really, really love you.
I asked one of my favorite bloggers to write about “VOICE.” And who better than Jeri Walker? Thank you so much, Darling.
On your mark…Get set…GO!
An authentic writing voice draws readers in and keeps them coming back for more.
Voice is akin to personality. It makes the writer’s presence on the page distinct from countless others. A strong voice does not draw attention to itself by shouting, but by being comfortable in its own skin.
Just to be clear, voice is so much more than a writer’s style—unique word choices, sentence structures, and punctuation habits.
Voice is an author unafraid of saying what must be said.
But how to best go about finding your writing voice? Read and write. A helluva lot. Period. Voice emerges over time and continually evolves.
So stop worrying if you sound like someone else. Do however worry about writing with conviction.
On the one hand, uncovering your writing voice is indeed about learning to be true to yourself so readers will connect with that honesty. But that’s only half of the voice equation.
Think of the famous line from Hamlet when Polonius advises his son Laertes, “To thine own self be true.” He’s telling his son to stay true to his own interests because that is what truly allows a person to be better-equipped to take care of others.
In other words, write for yourself and to figure out the message that matters most to you, and your principles will draw the right readers who will feel taking care of by your message. It’s all a bit circular…
Voice also comes into play when creating a fictional persona. The thought and speech patterns of any given character must ring true to that character’s background. Many authors write detailed character sketches even though the material will never appear in the novel.
Writing and the process of developing a strong voice is a recursive process. The beautifully addictive cycle never ends.
Voice does not exist in a vacuum. Writers assume different voices depending on the writing task. The intended subject and audience play a part in shaping the ultimate form a message takes. In the composition field, this is known as the rhetorical triangle.
While a strong voice may come more naturally and quickly to some, all writers can find their voice if they keep pressing forward—page, after page, after page.
Go forth and kick ass with your writing voice. Take no prisoners. Be authentically and gloriously you. Aim to let your words become somebody’s literary drug of choice. ( O’ I love that sentence, Jeri!! )
—-Have you found your writing voice? What has and hasn’t helped you on that journey?
Jeri Walker (@JeriWB) is also a freelance editor who offers incomparable quality at affordable rates. She believes in making every word count and dabbles in penning short stories and creative nonfiction. You can connect with her at JeriWB.com or explore her titles via Amazon.
Blog: JeriWB Author & Editor http://jeriwb.com/
Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/Jeri-Walker-Bickett/e/B006UHV4CA