Now on with my post on 'Voice.'
I have posted previously on voice, but not in connection with short stories and flash fiction. Every writer has 'voice.' Don't wonder about yours. It is inherent with who you are. You may start by emanating your favorite author. But eventually you will find your own way and your voice will come through. Any writer tool such as, 'Show Don't Tell,' past tense, present tense, first person or third, back story, action and description are all part of the trade. How you express them in your story is your 'Voice.'
Several years ago I was helping a friend with critique. Which means I was reading their manuscript and making suggestions on how to improve. I often give examples when I do this since I think it is easier to express what I mean by example. This writer had a lot to learn. (No, current critique partners, I'm not talking about any of you.) It took me a month to get half way through the manuscript before the writer became impatient and asked for it back. After reading my notes, this writer shot off an email telling me she didn't want to sound like me. It was then that I realized she had confused 'Word Economy' with 'Voice.'
As I said in last week's post, 'Voice' is not the same as 'Word Economy.'
'Word Economy' is a tool like any other that you use to save on duplicate words, unnecessary sentences, telling the story instead of showing the story, and so on. If you missed my previous post on 'Word Economy' associated with short stories and flash fiction I have a link at the end to go to all my related post so far.
So, you ask, "What is 'Voice?" I know it feels confusing if you are new to writing. The best example I can give you is your own speech patterns. If you are from the south in the USA then you will have a southern droll. Some phrases are natural to you. If you come from Britain, you won't sound anything like I do since I'm an American. If you come from a place where English is a second language to you, then you will have a peculiar accent that reflects this difference when you try to communicate with a person who is not from your region. The same is true of 'Voice.' Don't be ashamed of this difference. You have a rare gift to express what another writer would find difficult to do if not impossible. Furthermore, your life experiences define you as a person and will shine through in your writing. Once I heard someone say; "The story sounds like them." They hit upon an important point. Our stories do sound like us. We can't help it.
So, be brave, go forth and write!
I hope this helps.
For all my short stories, flash fiction post go here.
All subjects and stories are copyrighted, use with permission. 2012