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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Invest in your characters of your book

 

Learning how to make our characters strong, believable, lovable, loathed, and focused is something we all should strive for as writers. For as a reader I want to fall in love with my character or hate them so badly I want to see how the book ends. Most times I follow through with the liking of a character. There are some books by the time it ends I wish the one I fell for would just go away as my alliances has shifted to the villain who is suddenly amazing.

If we just stick to the physical aspect of what our characters look like, while we may describe them so well our readers can image them in their minds, you can only go so far with looks. So invest in your characters, go to the root of what makes them who they are, what they are and why I should as a reader get so invested in this one person. For if you don’t chances are the book will not be read to the end.

How strong are our characters in our book? Do they make the reader get invested in them relatively soon or does it drag on? The format is simple: Who? Where? What? How? When? Why?

Simple enough but then break it down even further. Who did what where and how did they do it and why? Or you can say how it happen to this other character that is in the book. The possibilities are endless depending how big your cast is in the book.

Also talk about your characters weakness, likes, fears, hopes,goals,strengths and so on. By doing that you give your person the best chance of working whether it is to be loved or hated. Without that, for me as a reader, the book no matter how well written, will be either read and honestly reviewed or just not read at all.

Invest in your characters and they will do wonders for your book.

Character Development

My class “ Character Development” started Monday night. The class was amazing and I have six more to go. Learning how to make our characters strong, believable, lovable, loathed, and focused is something we all should strive for as writers. For as an avid reader, I want to fall in love with my character or hate them so badly I want to see how the book ends. Most times I follow through with the liking of a character. There are some books by the time it ends I wish the one I fell for would just go away as my alliances has shifted to the villain who is suddenly amazing.

If we just stick to the physical aspect of what our characters look like ,while we may describe them so well our readers can image them in their minds, you can only go so far with looks. Well that is what they say right? So invest in your characters, go to the root of what makes them who they are, what they are and why I should as a reader get so invested in this one person. For if you don’t chances are the book will not be read

So the instructor asked how strong were our characters in our book? Do they make the reader get invested in them relatively soon or does it drag on? The format my professor suggested was very simple and something I am sure most of you are all aware of.

Who? Where? What? How? When? Why?

Simple enough but then break it down even further. Who did what where and how did they do it and why? Or you can say how did it happen to this other character that is in the book? The possibilities are endless depending how big your cast is in the book.

So in my mind I mentally went through the two books I am trying to get published and did the math so to speak to see if the characters in those books matched up to the rigor of those six questions.

Fortunately they did, and I did not even know I was doing it correctly. I was happily surprised. For in those two books the main characters I broke down to the core. Not just the physical aspects of what they looked liked. But I talked about their character: weakness, likes, fears, hopes,goals,strengths and so on. I started each character from birth and worked my way up. By doing that you give your person the best chance of working whether it is to be loved or hated. Without that, for me as a reader, the book no matter how well written, will be either read and honestly reviewed or just not read at all.

Each class I will share what I have learned, in hopes I can pass on some insight to others so we can all somehow improve our craft.