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.

Guest posting on Voice 9

 

I was approached by Voice 9 to write an article for their site. The topic was “Authors in the shade of the pandemic situation.” The point was to talk about creative writing during this crisis. The article came out this past Monday. 

This is what I came up with.

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I’ve told myself often that there’s just not enough time to work on the aspects of writing.

To those who are in this field you know there is writing the book, editing, revising and recycle the process. After that you have to find a publisher or publish it yourself, market it and gosh just so much more.

Than the pandemic started. People in my state in the US were required to stay home. So, my family was home with me, all day and night.

Yay!

But now my meetings with writers, trips to the bookstore and other activities were restricted. I to this day just go to the grocery stores, the doctors and very few other places. My church is streaming so I don’t go to church in the literal sense.

This gave me time. Time that I never could count on before.

I been able to finish volume four to my Jasper, Amazon parrot series and finish round one of edits. I been able to reach out to ask bloggers to review my books, to interview me and to do guest post. Something I knew I had to do but time was not on my side.

What has come from that is a radio interview out of England, some lovely reviews, some lovely interviews and my first guest post on a blog. I been able to maintain the pace since I am home majority of the time just due to circumstances.

Yet, time has also given me insight into the world around me from what I see on the news, the radio and in articles. It’s motivated me to want to write about the conditions that I am seeing play out.

But write about what exactly? How do I choose just one topic over another? I’m not sure. The issues at hand are large in their own right. If I can use my ability to write and spread it through my platform could I make an impact? Would I just anger people? It seems my country has been angry this entire year. Frankly, I don’t blame those who are. I’m angry as well at what I’m seeing.

I would like to try and write on what I’m experiencing. This time in our lives needs to be recorded. Perhaps if it helps just one person it would be worth it. If nothing else, I have the time now to do it.

The article is here:

https://voice9eng.wordpress.com/2020/09/27/authors-in-the-shade-of-pandemic-situation/?fbclid=IwAR1ssMjw8Tu88jVZOUqEjm6qty9S9Fun4thwmHJfLMyPkUll0DINTy9ipHM

 

 

Do you belong to a tribe of writers?

 

Being a writer is a solitary profession. If you can find a writing group locally it is a huge burst of camaraderie.

Writing groups are wonderful. Many places have them through the library, bookstores and coffee shops, For those not fortunate to have one in your area check online. If that is not an option, why not trying starting one of your own? I have formed three in my area to date. It has given me the confidence in my writing, time with similarly like minded people and it has improved my writing in a way I could not have done on my own.

To be around other writers who feel and think like you is massive. Especially when you have family members or friends who think little of what you are doing. The only one who truly gets the hard work, effort and time one puts into one book is another writer.

You also get more eyes on your WIP which is huge. They will find loopholes, time versus show issues, grammar issues, plot problems and just so many more. Now, they are not to be taken for the replacement of an editor. But it can get your manuscript in better shape than before you joined.

So, don’t go it alone. It is just so much more fun and advantageous when you are chilling with those who get you.

The Musings of A New Englander