When talking about a “writer’s voice,” what is being discussed is the personality that can be felt through the written words of a page or screen. It is the style of writing, the point of view being offered, and in the actual structure of each sentence, paragraph, and chapter. Once you get to know a particular writer’s voice, you can often identify who has written a specific piece without seeing the byline first.
Knowing how to find your own writer’s voice can really be a struggle. This is particularly true for shorter pieces, such as a blog post or an item of flash fiction. The only problem is that many writer’s think about their voice too much. Instead of their work feeling dynamic and authentic, it feels plagiarized and weak.
Writer’s Voice Is More Than Just How You Put Words Together
There is certainly a grammatical component to the voice in writing that you will find in every written work. There are also many more components to this voice that makes it a unique experience for the reader. For a writer’s voice to be relevant, it must offer the reader a distinctive view of the universe. It must enhance the experiences of the reader so that the time they spend reading has value.
No one wants to read something that sounds like it was copied from someone else. There is only one Hemingway. There is only Tolkien. There is only one you.
So how do you develop your voice in writing? In many ways, your writer’s voice will develop naturally on its own. That means you must actually sit down and start writing for it to make an appearance. It takes time, patience, and a whole lot of hard work that may never get published – though you could always put it up as a blog post!
We each have a story to tell. These stories come from deep inside of us. They are naturally ingrained into our sub-consciousness. How you resolve personal conflicts will become part of your writing style and voice.
How You Can Tell Your Writer’s Voice Is Developing
Have you ever noticed that you tend to read the same things? You might be reading a book you know that you’ve never read before, but it still seems familiar. It may be the structure of a sentence, the way a scene is described, or a certain type of character. This is your subconscious writer’s voice at work. You are attracted to written works that are similar to what your own natural style will be.
This is how you can tell that your writer’s voice is developing. You begin to consciously recognize that your subconscious is having an influence on the styles of writing you choose to embrace.
Once you can recognize this, you’re ready to explore the next step: freedom.
If you attempt to restrict your writer’s voice, then you’ll find it very difficult to produce any stories or content. You must allow your written words to have the same freedom as your voice does when having a conversation with someone. You don’t talk exactly like everyone else. Why then would you want to write like everyone else?
The Secret to Being Published: Remaining Neutral
When you read books that become national bestsellers, you’ll find that the writer’s voice is very neutral. It’s like Switzerland on caffeine. This is because to reach a mass market audience, there has to be a certain neutrality to the style. You don’t want to rub someone the wrong way and have them leave a negative review.
This means the secret to being published is to remain neutral, but to still give your voice the freedom it needs to express itself. That can be a very tricky path to walk as a reader.
For this reason, it is important to write your first draft of anything in a natural way. Once you’ve completed this draft, have someone that you trust review the work. Let them edit it in a way that helps it to become more neutral. That way you’ll offend fewer people, be able to make your key points, and become a marketable commodity to a publisher.
What is voice in writing? It is your voice, put into written words instead of spoken words. Do your best to write in the same way that you talk, embrace the style that is lurking inside of you right now, and you’ll find that your writing will take another step forward toward success.