It’s important for writers to find their voice and apply it to their stories. But first, what is a writer’s voice? It’s a combination of things – syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc. – that make your writing unique. Your voice when writing books differs from when speaking at engagements. No one else can offer what you can – your unique perspective and storytelling will keep your readers coming back for more if you stay true to yourself and your voice. So, it’s essential for you to unlock your creative potential and find your writing voice.
Here are a few tips on how to find and develop your voice:
1.) Visualize someone you want to talk to. Pretend you’re writing a self-help book for teens, and you have a fourteen-year-old niece. Visualize your niece sitting next to you as you write. This makes it easier for you to tell the information with words of encouragement from a concerned loved one rather than simply instructive words coming from a figure of authority.
2.) Play games. Create lists of words in order to discover ideas you’ve kept hidden from yourself. Make sure these words mean something to you; don’t just search for synonyms. Really think about them. Make a list of words that you find creepy, then a list of things that you find inspirational. Make a list of foods you enjoy, then a list of places you want to visit. Make a list of movies you enjoyed as a child, then a list of gifts you’d give yourself and family if you won the lottery.
3.) Free write. Write whatever comes to mind without editing. Take a few words from the lists you created from step two and simply begin writing. After a few sessions, review your work and see if you would publish something similar. Your most honest work is usually revealed when you’re comfortable and without stress or deadlines.
Your voice is created from persistent hard work, and when you challenge yourself. So, keep writing – and reading – in order to develop your voice once you discover it. You’ll stand out among other authors by showing the world you have something to say and have a unique way of saying it.
How did you find your writing voice?
For me, the key has been to write every day. I kept at it and one day I realized I had found my voice — and I liked it.
Just like writers have an individual style, I think each character should have a unique voice as well. Even when you are writing from one character’s point of view, you should try to develop his or her own linguistic and mental style in your dialogue and narration.
I am still finding my voice but each blog is a step closer. I now just write and do not contemplate whether to push the publish button. Well, maybe a little:) I have actually learned a lot about myself just by going through the process of blogging.
Thanks John for your encouragement, last time we talked. Talk to you hopefully with the good news of a completed ready to submit, manuscript!