What is your voice as a writer?

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 concur with these teachers. How come everyone knows what my voice is but me? I try hard not to think on this and just write. Apparently I am accomplishing the voice subconsciously.

I have read numerous articles on this topic and when it seems the definition makes sense then a new article comes across my desk and destroys it, enter 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.

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Queen of webinars: writing information

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Queen of Webinar. I been dubbed that by a few writer friends. I love webinars. The ones I attend are normally free but offer a world of information. Just this past week I viewed one on Scrivener which has been the rage for writers for a few years now. I have heard of it but don’t have the program as of yet but thought it be cool to watch. It was.

There are webinars for just about anything. All one has to do is do a search and viola. I have viewed most of my webinars on topics of writing, marketing, promotion and so forth. Majority of the time if not all they try to sell you something at the end. But you are not required to buy. Just listen. Which is what I do. I watch webinars like I watch documentaries. All the time. My poor family when a topic comes up and I say, “Oh wait I saw that in a documentary and they said …” I am now doing that for webinars.

Free. I mean come on it is free. All that it requires is your time. Heck a good portion of them they record and they send you the link to watch at your own leisure. All you have to do is have registered for it. There is so much to do and consider when you are an artist of any kind, especially an author.

So when someone offers to help with a free video I am all for it.

 

What my library has done for me as a patron and author

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I have been asked twice, one by a librarian in town and by an author who runs her library’s blog space, to describe what my library has done for me. The first time it was a video I submitted to the library the second time will be posted on a library website in Texas sometimes in the near future. To put into words what it has done for me is hard to completely put down into words. But this is what I wrote for Texas.

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I first started thinking about writing in July of 2009. I actually began in December, however. Not knowing anything about writing, nor knowing anyone who was also a writer like myself, or the process involved with it, I was on my own. I just wrote until my first manuscript was done.

Several months later, I was checking out the website of one of our local libraries, and I noticed they had started a writer’s group. I was thrilled. Attending the first meeting, there were six of us, five librarians and me. This was a huge boost. It gave me the motivation to continue, but that is just a small portion of how the library has helped me throughout this journey.

Last November was the third year they hosted a free writer’s conference. This is huge in the sense that the nearest conference for us is about an hour away. The really big ones are even further. To have one in our area is fantastic. It’s also free. Hello! We get to attend free classes and seminars on various topics that can help us with our writing. Each year, the guest speaker has been spot on and amazing.

The library also brings in feature authors, which is hosted by the Friends of The Library. This gives us insight on how authors are doing throughout the literary field. The talks are friendly and laid-back, and it gives us inspiration as well.

If that was not enough, the materials you can borrow from the library are writing books, magazines, and computers to use. If you don’t have any of these things, access to them is a writer’s dream. The staff is friendly and very helpful if you need help in researching a topic.

Before I started writing, I was already a fan of our library system. At one point, I was going so often that one librarian asked me what shift was I on that week. Another gave me the keys to unlock a door since she recognized me from my being at the library so often.

Books, movies, CDs, and the endless programs they offer to the community is a true blessing for us here. There is always something to do at the library, which is always free to the public.

Now that I am a published author, it is even more invaluable because of the services they offer me throughout this venture. To me, if they had not started a writer’s group in this area, who knows where I would be right now. I am grateful for the libraries in my area. They are a great resource to have for those of us that need to make use of their services, especially someone who writes and researches often.