Category Archives: All about writing

Your writing Voice: Do you know it?

 

As writers, do you know what your voice is?

According to Margaret Maron, creator of Judge Deborah Knott: “Voice is the most important ingredient in a successful book. The plot may be clever, but if the voice doesn’t engage us, how can we care?”

According to John Morgan Wilson who writes the Benjamin Justice mystery series: “There is difference between voice and style though it is difficult to get at. To me voice is closer to attitude and the emotional quality of the prose, reflecting the personality of the author.”

According to Chris Roerden:” The first step in developing your voice is not to add something but to identify the ineffective writing habit and techniques you’ve picked up over the years and get rid of them.”

My Character Development instructor said he knew my voice and I did as well. Funny I thought to myself for my last instructor told me the same thing. This is a trend for people out of my writing groups who concur with these teachers. How come everyone knows what my voice is but me? I have read numerous articles on this topic. But I try hard not to think on this and just write. Apparently I am accomplishing the voice subconsciously.

Jason Pinter , former St. Martin’s Press editor states: “Voice is the conversational quality of your writing, the way you “talk” to your reader. It’s as important in writing as it is in conversing aloud with someone or speaking to a group. If your voice isn’t confident, assured, authoritative, natural, and appropriate for your characters and story, the writing will feel stilted, forced, ragged, weak, awkward. Just as speaking aloud is ineffective if one is halting, hesitant, lacking in confidence, and so on.”

This one makes sense to me since for now I can’t verbally express my definition of the voice. One good way is to read your story aloud. It may sound silly but it is a good way to hear one’s errors, pace and flow. Perhaps a writer will discover their voice.

Will I ever be able to describe this important ingredient to others? I do not know. Hopefully though my voice is being written loud and clear in my writings.

Do children’s book need to be researched?

 

When I mentioned to someone how much research I was doing for my children’s series what I received in return was a blank stare.

Why?”

What do you mean why?” I asked.

What unfolded was frustration on my part that someone thought that children’s book should not be researched on their topics. This blew my mind. It was sadly not the only time I’ve heard this.

My series is based on our rescued and adopted parrot, Jasper, who’s history is from the rainforest. While I know about birds and my birds in particular I certainly only knew the bare minimum about where he was from.

So, yes I researched it. One key example I toss out at people is this. I was looking for a new animal to introduce to the story line. A friend suggested an elephant and how cool that would be. I ran off with this. I ended up writing almost four pages for the scene to unfold.

It only hit me after. Are there elephants in the rainforest? Well, no. So that was wasted time and energy.

I want my readers to enjoy the book and to learn from it. But to do that work is needed to make it accurate. Our children deserve that in my opinion. An author should put as much care into this genre as any other genre. Why is it important for the adults and teens but not them? That is a disservice to children in this age group.

Anyone who writes in this genre are getting the children ready for future reads and genres. Giving them false information just to get the story done, being to lazy to make it worth the time by researching, not feeling they deserve a well rounded book like any other genre and don’t need the attention to detail like others is something I don’t subscribe to.


This is why I research all my genres, the adults and especially the children.

Freelance writing: Andy Warhol

I wrote for a local magazine in 2014. It was a paid gig. With things getting busy I moved on to other aspects of my business. This year I decided to try again to write for local magazines in the county.

A popular one responded and was open to me being a contributing writer if it worked out that is. My test would be my first article to them. I was to do an article on Andy Warhol.

I had heard of him but knew very little. As I contacted the key-note speaker and the person in charge of the exhibit I was educated on why Warhol was so well know. The advancements he made for himself and artists that follow him was incredible.

The article won’t come out until next month, if it does, but it has to be approved first by the editor.

When I first read my assignment I did internally freak out. But as I dove into the history I was fascinated by what I was finding. It also reminded me about the joy I had as a freelance writer in 2014 and I am glad I am revisiting it once more this year.

There is so much more to writing than books and short stories. Expanding one’s view can be rewarding and just down right fun.