Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in.
If you Google Writing Voice you will discover pages of material. I literally found everything from what Voice is to instructions on how to develop it. There is information in abundance to help you discover your own unique style. Wow.
Apparently this is a very serious subject and one a writer needs to pay attention to. Who knew? Certainly not me. When I first started to write it never occurred to me I needed to find my Voice. I had no idea what it was to begin with. I just wanted to tell a good story. So I wrote. And wrote some more. Then I rewrote. Along the way I discovered a tendency to head hop just a teensy-weensy bit – okay, I raised it to an art form, but, hey, I eventually figured it out. Adverbs are not my friend and the word “that” can be overused. Good to know.
Writing a sentence is fairly easy, but what gives it life beyond the words you read? What glues you to the pages anxious to see what happens next? Words have power and the way they are put together on a page can transport us to other worlds and on wonderful adventures or make us want to hurl the book across the room. We laugh, we cry, we smell the ocean on the breeze or hear the thunder of a waterfall and we fall in love with characters that become real to us for a short period of time. All because of words.
Okay, so we’ve established the importance of sentence structure (my English teacher would be so proud), but that alone isn’t enough to keep us interested is it? I know you’ve picked up a book and several paragraphs in you are wondering why you are wasting your time. Maybe you keep reading, hoping it will get better or toss is aside because you would rather wash dishes. Yet the book came highly recommended from a friend/co-worker/stranger on the street (you get the picture) because they loved this book and thought you would too. What is it about the book you just didn’t like?
You know where I am going with this, right? It is Voice! It is the cadence of the words put together, how it is punctuated, the dialogue between characters and how they are developed that either bores you to tears or keeps you awake half the night reading. It is how the writer perceives his vision and translates it to the page that we either respond to or turn away from. It is an emotional reaction.
If the writer is lucky his Voice will touch the right cord with a lot of readers, but I can say with great confidence that even bestselling authors have detractors. Not everyone will like what we produce and that is okay. If everyone liked the same thing then we wouldn’t need a wide variety of reading material. Boring!
So, I’ve discovered along the way my rhythm for words and descriptions – my Voice. I am comfortable there and fall easily into the pattern when I sit down to write. My hope is others will like what I have done and few will be tempted to toss my book aside.
In my world, that would be pretty darned cool. 🙂
You nailed it on the head! My “voice” seems to still be evolving, but the good news is that I can tell it’s there now, unlike years ago. 🙂 Great post! ~Viola
Thanks Viola! I always appreciate you stopping in and leaving a comment 🙂
A workshop presenter once said (can’t remember her name, dagnabbit!) that your voice is the sum total of every choice you make in your writing. No wonder it’s so hard to pin down! Great post!
Thanks, Sarah! I like the way your workshop presenter summed it up.