In late November, I attended a workshop where the question of finding your writer’s voice was broached. The presenter, an author of many novels, had a difficult time describing how to discover your writer’s voice. I was intrigued and needed more information. On the drive home my friend and fellow writer commented she believed the way you find your writer’s voice was through constant practice. I agreed with this idea, but I needed more information. For those of you who have read my post in the past you know my feelings about just writing as a method of discovering how to write. As I have a desire for outlines I needed to research the concept of the writer’s voice to see if there were techniques to help me recognize my own. In the book Writer Mama by Christina Katz, I found these techniques:
1.Don’t censor yourself on your first draft. Write like no one is reading. Write to purge out what ever it is you are feeling. Write in bursts of energy. DO spontaneous free flow writing,
2. If you find a writer whose voice you appreciate, keep her work on hand for when you need inspiration. For me this writer is Jane Austen. Not only do I love her voice but when I imagine how difficult it was for her to get published I know I have to keep trying
3. If you enjoy what you write and if you like your story it will come through in your work. One of the first presenters I saw at a WCYR meeting, whose name I’ve forgotten, echoed theses same sentiments in a way that spoke directly to me. She said, “If you love vampires then write about vampires because readers who love vampires will feel your love coming off the page
4.Write for someone, or a group of someones. Mostly, I write stories for my daughters. I write about female characters I want them to internalize.
5. Read your story out loud. Listen for your voice. I do this for everything I write but I hadn’t listened for my voice. I did it to edit. (I wonder what I’ll hear when I read this blog later!?!)
For me the best advice was Katz’s definition of a writer’s voice. Your Voice is how you are different from any other writer out there. Your Voice is what brings life to your piece. The way I interpreted this definition was to allow your personality to come through in your writing.
What we call voice might be better described as personality.
Understanding the aspects of your personality you want to portray in your writing could help you find your voice.
Not every piece of advice will work for every writer but if one of these helped you please let me know. Or, if you have some advice on the writer’s voice I would LOVE to hear about it.
Happy writing, From a sarcastic, self-depreciating plotter who loves a good thrill.