Thursday, September 22, 2011
Tips for Gaining Voice in Writing
Voice is an elusive element in writing. It can be a subtle thing, or as obvious as a snarky main character. However, voice is more than a single character’s way of speech. Voice is the individual writer’s way of presenting setting, plot and characters. It is a writer’s style that is uniquely the author. It can’t be copied (at least, not easily or well).
How is voice achieved?
Voice is written from the heart of the author—that deep place that makes us individual. From personal experience, I’ve found that voice is easiest to achieve when I’m not fretting about writing rules, when I’m not worrying what others will think of my stories. It takes courage and practise to put yourself on the page for all to see.
Don’t copy another author’s style. It won’t work and the story will likely fall flat in the attempt. You have to find your own style.
Don’t apologise for who you are. Find the courage to be yourself when you write.
Write a fast first draft to keep the doubts at bay. Remember you can fix anything later.
First learn grammar and punctuation, then don’t be afraid to break the rules if your story is calling out for it.
Learn to listen to your story. It will tell you how to write it.
Read not just a lot, but copious amounts. Absorb stories and styles. Be inspired, learn what works and what doesn’t.
Then write. And write some more.
How have you developed your voice? In your opinion what books have included a great voice?
Thanks to Claire Lachance for the Versatile Blogger Award. Please visit her great blog and say hi from me.