This post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge–blogging every day in the month of April (except Sundays!) with each letter of the alphabet.
Writers often talk about finding their ‘voice,’ especially when they’re first starting out. What is a voice? I suppose it means your own unique way of telling stories, the part of yourself that you weave into the narrative. Some authors have distinctive tones and moods they set with their writing, and this is partly what a voice is. Some authors tell a story like you’re sitting around a campfire with them, close and companionable, and some tell stories in a more dry, straightforward way. Readers enjoy different things, so you’re sure to find someone who enjoys your voice, whatever it is.
How do you develop a voice? Mainly through writing–lots of writing–and working through the words to find it. It comes from creating different characters and building worlds for them, watching them interact and driving them with your plots. Voice is developed through writing different kinds of stories and seeing what you enjoy the most, what sticks, and what makes the most sense to you. Testing it out on other people and seeing what they think is valuable too, but you are the most important person when it comes to your voice…after all, you’re the one who has to write in it for the rest of your career.
Voice can come from your own life experiences and how you see the world. It can be derived from your morals and personal beliefs. It can be shaped by the lessons you want to teach through your writing. Your voice is you, what’s in your heart, and when that’s where it comes from it rings the most true.
How about you, are you still developing your voice? What voices of other writers do you enjoy?