Writer’s Toolbag: Finding Your Voice

Taxes Writer Image 2One of the first bits of professional advice I found confusing was regarding my “voice”.   At the time, I figured I’d just write a story, how I wrote it was my voice… right?

Well, sort of.  You see, a writer has a certain tone that they use when they write.  It’s a mix of word-choice, plot choices, pacing, and characterization that not only singles out who you are as a writer, but it also has effects upon your readers.

Some authors have a frenetic tone that writes a book fast and also makes for a quick read.  Such styles lend themselves well to fast, action-oriented stories.

Other authors are driven by the details.  Sections of dense, complex prose is there to lay out the world in a clear, enriched fashion.

There’s no one “right” way to do this, just what works for you as an author.  I find that I have a different voice when I write military science fiction than from my epic fantasy series.  Some of that is necessary in that you don’t want “modern” terms and comparisons in a fantasy setting (at least, not without good reason).  Some of that is simply that I’m writing with a different goal in mind.

Voice plays into reader expectations as well.  As you develop readers and fans, they come to expect a certain voice.  If you don’t write that way, it can lead to confusion.  They may not be able to pick up on what’s wrong, but they’ll feel it.

So how do you develop your voice?  Well, in a big part, it’s simply how you write.  The words you chose and the way you shape your story.  The central piece of this is understanding your voice.  It comes back to your central ideas and your unique perspective.  The details that you pick out to put into your writing, the way that your characters react to events, even the colors you take the time to mention.

There are dozens of books on finding your voice.  The central part that I’ve found is writing more.  As you become more comfortable with writing, as you relax and enjoy it, you infuse what you write with more and more of yourself.  The things that get you excited, the scenes that you love, that will speak with your voice.

 

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One thought on “Writer’s Toolbag: Finding Your Voice”

  1. I really liked this post because I am new to the blogging/creative writing world. I am a researcher, so my writing style throughout college, graduate school, and now my PhD has been from a different perspective! I did get a little nervous and often times thought my my initial posts and writing was “silly.” But like you said, to develop your voice.. it is just how you write! It is really great to see and compare my two styles of writing! The creative writing is definitely a work in progress (:

    Liked by 1 person

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