Would it baffle you if we said that voice is just as important in writing as it is in singing? Well, it shouldn’t.
Of course, with writing, we mean voice in a different way. When singing, it’s your physical voice that matters. But in writing, it’s the written voice – the tone your writing takes in the reader’s mind when they consume your work.
In writing, your voice is your not-so-secret secret weapon. It’s the thing that will land you positive reviews and feedback, and will have people reading your work day after day. If you ever left a permanent mark on the heart of a reader, forever etching your book into the walls and sinews, chances are, it was your voice that did that.
What Is Your Written Voice?
Let’s lay a little context here.
Your written voice is the heart and soul of your writing. It’s the thing that stays with readers long after they close your book for good – and that goes for both the good and the bad. Your voice is what makes your writing yours; what makes it stand out in the wide world of fiction. It’s managing to tell a story in a way that only you can tell it.
Metaphors and inspiring sentences aside, your voice is the way that you write. It’s the words you use, the punctuation you include, the way you structure your sentences, the flow and length of your dialogue – to put it simply, anything that’s to do with how you tell the story fits under the bracket of voice.
How Do You Find Yours?
Well, we hate to break it to you… but there’s no set-in-stone way to discover your voice. It’s something that happens over many years of dedication to the craft. That’s why patience and discipline are such important traits. If you want to be a great writer, those are the two things you need to teach yourself.
If you dedicated yourself to writing at least one thing each and every day for the next five years, your voice would develop to a point you’d never see coming. The only way you’re going to uncover your best writing is if you spend enough time getting the bad stuff out first.
No one ever picked up a pen and wrote a bestseller without putting in the years. Most successful debuts aren’t a writer’s first novel. They may be their first published novel, but never the first they ever tried to write.
Developing your voice takes time. Dedicate yourself to putting in the hours.
There Is Something You Can Do, Though
We love editing for many reasons. The first is that it’s who we are and what we do – editing is our purpose on this earth. The second reason, though, is that the rewriting phase is a great time to hone your voice.
Here’s a practical tip. You know those sections of your book that you genuinely like? The sections you wish the rest of the book was more like? Well, those sections (in most cases) are examples of your writing style (voice) at it’s strongest. It’s these sections that reflect the finest examples of your uniqueness and writing ability.
Study these sections. Work out what it is that makes them stand out from the rest of your work. Is it the word choice? The sentence structure? The way you introduce something? The transitions between short and fast pacing? The blend of long and short sentences? The way the characters interact with each other and their surroundings? What is it about those scenes that makes you love them so much?
Once you’ve established that, work hard to apply it to the rest of your book (in a way that relates specifically to each scene’s purpose – AKA, don’t repeat yourself). When doing this, you’ll start to notice the patterns. You’ll learn how you write best.
And then, when it comes time to write your next first draft, these notable points will be fresh in your mind, allowing you to refine your voice from the very first page.
Find Your Voice
You must dedicate yourself to your writing. Dedicate yourself to it as if you know nothing else. If you create the time to explore your writing on a daily basis (even if it’s only a quick hundred words) you give yourself a much better chance of creating the success and career that you dream of.
No one ever burst into the writing world overnight. You have to put in the effort in order to find your voice and best your ability. Talent is nice, but development through grit and determination will get you way further.
So put in the work, dedicate yourself, and start putting the pieces into place. You can wish you had a stronger voice, or you can get out there and pursue one. And guess what? Only one of those practices will actually get you there.Follow us to stay up to date with our writing tips/advice, schedule updates, special offers, prize giveaways, and writing-based competitions. Got any questions/inquiries? Hit that little email icon and send them over.