Monday, January 30, 2012

The Writing Craft: Voice

Today we will cover voice. What is it? Do you have it? How do you train it?

You've been reading books since you can remember. Maybe you started with Dr. Seuss and picked up The Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew later. Now you love J. K. Rowling or Patterson. It would take me a long time to name every possible scenario. 

In fact, you love one or more authors so much you want to emulate their writing, their voice. Well, that will work for a short time, but don't be surprised if you become frustrated. Why? Because you have your own voice. You have been developing it since you spoke your first word. No one thinks exactly like you. You are unique. You may have chosen a popular genre with a ton of available books. But no other author has your voice.

As you write each sentence, each paragraph, each chapter you will train your voice. Only you can bring life to your characters, your plot, your story. It's hard work. You will first write it and then possibly critique it, do more revisions than you thought one person could handle and then submit it to an editor. No, don't even entertain publishing without first paying an editor to review your book.

Congratulations, you have completed your book. Now comes the submission process or you may choose to self publish. All along the way, your voice has become stronger and your writing has been tested.

To read the other post on The Writing Craft go here.

Do you want to learn something specific? Let me know in the comments.
Nancy

19 comments:

markkfinn said...

Now you really like J. K. Rowling or Patterson. It would take me a while to name every possible situation.

scrapbook paper

Huntress said...

Voice is difficult to describe. Kind of like defining the color red to a blind person or a bird's chirp to someone who can't hear.

Very difficult.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Our voice is like our way of viewing the world.

Southpaw said...

I agree it develops and gets stronger the more we write.

The Golden Eagle said...

Interesting post! And it's definitely true that each writer's voice is unique.

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by and I'm glad this post made you think at least. I'll stop by your blogs tomorrow.
Nancy

Romance Reader said...

Some stories in a same genre are so sweet, yet some are flirty and fresh- now I get it- It's all due to the different authors' own way of telling a story- otherwise known as VOICE!

Donna Hole said...

So true. Love this post :)

........dhole

Carolyn V said...

Awesome comments about voice! I was told once at a conference that I had the voice to do either MG or YA. It really made my day. ;)

Tasha Seegmiller said...

I have found that I have struggled making different characters have different voice. It's so essential and so tricky. Great post - new follower :)

M Pax said...

Voice takes time & a lot of writing. It comes naturally, when we let ourselves be ourselves. Great post, Nancy.

Ann Best said...

As M. Pax says above, letting ourselves be ourselves. This was crucial for me when I was struggling with my memoir. I finally did let it come "naturally." And then it worked. Very elusive though, and not easy to define. But you've managed to do it well, Nancy!
Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks everyone. Welcome Tasha.
Nancy

Inspector Saahab said...

i feel so blessed for i found this page, yours.

i am so into writing. u put together my compilation of stories in my blog. i do write few serial short stories. currently working on the third one.

kindly visit it here
http://inspektorsaahab.blogspot.com/search/label/OF%20ROSE%20AND%20NEIL

would love to hear from you. just to mention that english isn't my native language so errors are everywhere. but i'm improving myself :)

N. R. Williams said...

I'll stop by Saahab. Thanks so much.
Nancy

Kittie Howard said...

Great job. Voice is like J-ello - it wiggles. Sometimes it's hard to let the wiggle do it's thing.

Nas Dean said...

Great post on Voice, Nancy!

LTM said...

Awesome, Nancy. The best explanation of voice I've seen yet. Voice is just that--your voice. It is what it is. :o) <3

N. R. Williams said...

Love it Kittie.

Thanks Leigh, such a compliment.
Nancy