Thursday, January 15, 2009

Finding Your Voice

What is a writer’s voice – you ask? The writer’s voice is a person’s writing style, the way they form words on paper. They can dazzle or destroy. That is the writer’s voice.

If you’ve been reading our blog, you have probably noticed that all of us writers have a different voice. Plus, most of us write in different genres.

Linda writes for children
L.T. writes for adults
Tony writes for adults
I write for YA & dabble in children’s
Brandilyn is our illustrator (an excellent one at that, too).

Each week I am surprised how different each post sounds.

L.T. has beautiful words and has a talent of mixing images on paper.
Linda is caring and loving. This comes through in her posts and in her writing.
I’m a bit corny when it comes to writing (and love it, thanks).

Each of us has a different voice. Finding your voice is what will pull you through your writing. It will help you to either love what you are writing, or dread what you are writing.

I’ll give you an example (if you’ve heard this before, just remember I’m getting over a cold and still a bit groggy).

I went to a writer’s conference with a focus on children and YA writing. The author that I worked with (who is AWESOME) has written many children’s books. So, I thought I should take a children’s chapter book with me.

Okay, here is the secret, I had never written a children’s chapter book. Picture book, yes. Chapter book, no. Therefore, in the darkness of the night, I threw together the beginnings of a chapter book. I made copies and took them with me to the author’s critique.

Let’s just say, my book got a warm greeting, but not an enthusiastic jumping up and down, let me grab the agent, kind of welcome.

After we had gone through everyone’s first pickings of critiques, we were invited to bring more to the table. I brought my YA book. It wasn’t that good, and I knew it, but I brought it anyway.

That’s when the author pointed the sharp side of her pencil at me and said, “This is your voice.”
Jabbing my finger to my throat I asked, “Isn’t this my voice?”
“No, you have the voice of a teenager. That is the genre you should be writing.” (Honestly, does that sound like a compliment?)

So, I have been writing YA and love it. I do have some children’s pieces on the table, but find YA to be quite rewarding.

If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Could you imagine Edgar Allen Poe writing comedies? Or how about Dr. Seuss writing horror stories. Yeah, just doesn’t fit.

So that is what the writer’s voice is. Finding it may take a bit of work on the writer’s part. Having someone (besides the writer) take a look at the work is a great way to tell what voice you may have.

Once you find your voice, the next step is learning your craft. I’m not talking about the cheesy kind with noodles, although I am a bit hungry. So, until next week, don't forget the rigatoni (I should’ve had lunch).

3 comments:

LexiconLuvr said...

Thanks so much for the kind words, Scarlet. *Blush* You're too kind!

Wonderful post today. Sometimes finding your voice is difficult. I'm not always sure about mine but I just love the genre I'm in too much to stop now!

BTW, your voice is beautiful, organic, and fun! Keep it up, girl! You rock!

Scarlet Knight said...

You have a wonderful writer's voice. I'm totally keeping all your stuff.

Now I just need your autograph on all of it.

Homesteading said...

Thank you so much for your comment on my blog. I really appreciated it.
I think I needed to get some feedback like that. It wasn't an easy post to write.