So I know I’ve talked about voice before (check it out here), but I think it is important enough to bring it up again. I learned in my language d. class (last quarter, I’m battling the math now…save me). Anyways, like I was saying, in my LD class they taught us a little bit about learning to write. They said it was only the lucky ones that ever found their “voice.”
As a writer I grinned, because I think if you write long enough, you find your voice. If you are persistent.
If you have been reading our blog for some time, you will be able to pick out each of the different voices or writing styles Linda, L.T. and I have.
For example, Linda’s voice. Linda is a very uplifting writer. All her posts are encouraging, she has a passion for helping people and you can hear it in her writing. She writes children's books.
L.T. is so good at using the right word. Her posts have elegant mixtures of literary fusion. She really takes her time to find the right words. She writes fantasy.
I write like I’m a kid. Probably because I am around them all day. But I enjoy things that make me laugh – and yes, it comes through in my writing. I write YA.
So what are some things you can do to find your voice? I have a wonderful book by Wyndham (revised by Madison) called Writing for Children and Teenagers. If you haven’t read it, you need to find it. Excellent book. They recommend:
1. Listen. Listen to the group of people you are writing for. Find out how they talk, their tempo, their choice of words. (one word of warning for those writing YA. Don’t use fad words, like “bodacious” from the 80s – it will date your book).
2. Use good dialogue. This may take lots of practice, but if your dialogue isn’t believable, your characters won’t be either.
3. Use your dialogue to move your story forward (but please don’t info dump. I read a story where a character opened his mouth and spewed out tons of information that I didn’t think a real person would do.)
Good sound advice. They have more suggestions in the book, but I felt like these three were a good place to start.
So, those of you who have been writing for a while, how do you feel like you have found your voice? I’m interested.