Reading a Hemingway novel, you will immediately recognize it as one by his candid, unvarnished language, which has become associated with his name. Similarly, any other literary greats would qualify. That is because they have developed a strong, distinctive voice that distinguishes their work from that of other writers or authors.
Your writer’s voice is a technical term that refers to your writing style, viewpoint, syntax, tone, vocabulary, punctuation, and topics. However, it is much more than that. It is your perspective on the world and how you convert that perspective into writing. You are condensing your essence onto the pages.
Every writer or author, regardless of the medium, has a writing voice. Voice pervades writing; it can be felt how your story is constructed, and the methods feelings and meaning are created. Your tales will shine and take on a life of their own when you have a solid writing voice.
Creating A Writer’s Voice
Your voice is as critical as the storylines and characters you develop. Without it, your writing would seem dry and hollow. Set yourself apart from the opposition by following the suggestions below! Your writing voice becomes more accessible and comprehensible the stronger it is.
Describe Your Personality
Which three (3) adjectives most accurately characterize you as a writer? This simple activity may assist you in determining the writing voice you most likely have.
Writing is a personal endeavor. It is not something that can be forged. Your voice is similar to or almost comparable to your natural voice, the one you use while conversing with friends or family. Unless you discover a method to swap personalities or brains (or maybe if you’re a robot), your genuine voice will always make its way into your work.
Here are a few prompts to assist you in describing yourself:
- What is your most distinguishing physical characteristic? Mental? Personality-wise? And so on.
- Who do you serve as a reminder to others?
- What are others’ perceptions of you? Do not be scared to inquire!
Your responses to these questions will establish the fundamental qualities of your writing voice; write with them. As you practice more, you’ll see other traits you’d want to include or eliminate.
Don’t stop reading.
Accumulating more knowledge is always a part of improvement. The more information you possess, the more competent you will be. And what better method to acquire knowledge than via reading?
Read writers you despise as well as respect. Read genres and styles that you are not a fan of. Avoid limiting your reading to just the kind of things you write; this will prevent you from developing a distinct voice. Additionally, you’ll miss out on some excellent reading.
Take a look at your writing heroes.
Individuals often develop new hobbies, professions, and pastimes by imitating their heroes. According to legend, imitation is the most excellent form of flattery. Writing is no different.
It is either a deliberate or unintentional choice to imitate your favorite authors. You borrow elements of their tone and expand on them. At first, it won’t be easy to distinguish between what is uniquely yours and what is just copied, but as you hone your art, you will eventually merge their voices into your own, producing a one-of-a-kind mix.
And don’t worry about plagiarism—unless you can exactly imitate them, you’ll never be able to duplicate another writer’s voice completely alternatively unless you are a robot.
Consider the following:
- Examine the parallels and contrasts between your idols and your writing.
- What aspects of their writing do you admire?
Conduct research on their writing process. You may discover other sources of inspiration. When you discover anything you despise or like about a specific book or author, consider why you feel that way. Perhaps the author’s style clashes with your own, or you and the author have similar preferences in comedy, and so on. Exploring the whys of your feelings may help you develop a complete view of who you are as a writer.
Allow yourself to write freely.
Finding your writer’s voice is a journey that requires a great deal of writing. There is no avoiding it. You can only improve your expertise by repeatedly writing and refining.
To become a well-rounded writer, you must practice and diversify your writing. Utilize a variety of writing styles. Write in a variety of genres and points of view—additional test methods, etc.
As you accomplish these things, your writer’s voice will gradually grow to the point that you are no longer aware of how you write. It will occur organically and spontaneously.
Always push the boundaries of your abilities as a writer. The more you explore and develop your craft skills, the more distinct your voice and the more strong your writing becomes.
Proofread your work.
Effective writers spend at least as much time editing as they do create. If you are not invested in your work and leave it in its initial draft, you will never establish a unique voice.
When you edit and revise your work, you will find the majority of your mistakes and shortcomings. Ignore this, and you’re laying the groundwork for a shaky foundation for your craft.
Editing also provides a chance to examine your writing style. From typical writing habits to frequent mistakes, editing enables you to get insight into your identity as a writer. It is your writing; thus, get acquainted with it.
Even if you have an editor on hand, editing should always be considered part of your workflow. Consider cooking. When you’re almost finished, you’ll often check and adjust the heat, flavor, and quantity to ensure that the meal tastes excellent. Editing is a process that enables you to ensure that your readers comprehend and connect with your work.
The Writer’s Voice vs. the Character’s Voice
Your writing voice is conveyed in two primary ways: via narration and through the point of view of your narrative. It is your distinctive use of language, punctuation, grammar, and the overall perspective of your story.
It may take a few volumes or re-reads for the reader to discern your writing voice. The more acquainted they get with you, the easier it will be for them to understand your voice.
The voice of a character is more focused. It is the distinct tone you offer your characters. By endowing them with distinct personalities, habits, speech patterns, and other traits, you may shape the character’s voice into something distinctive and readily identifiable to the reader.
In a narrative, no two characters should be identical. When readers are unable to discern who is speaking, your narrative becomes unclear and dull. It’s beneficial to develop opposing personalities that complement one another’s voice. Make one talkative, another tight-lipped, and so on.
Discover Your Voice
There is a great deal about writing that can only be learned via experience. Be the John/Jane Wick of writing—someone who demonstrates determination and concentration in their trade.
There are no bypasses or immediate fixes when it comes to improving your voice. Even seasoned writers continue to refine theirs. Therefore, take your time and gradually flesh out your identity as a writer and the content you want to include in your work. If you are not authentic in your career, you will burn out.
Have you ever purchased a book just because a favorite author wrote it? And you already know you’re going to like it without having read a single word? That is the authority.
When your style develops, it will be a distinguishing mark for you in the literary world, and new and future admirers will be attracted to you. Go ahead and begin. It is essential to being able to support oneself as a writer.
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