Now, we’re getting to the very heart of writing. No matter what you were told, the most powerful tool in a writers arsenal is not their vocabulary, mastery of grammar or a new Mac— its their voice. Your unique blend of character, description and style. The Voice is the way you show your uniqueness, and how you use that, to populate your fictional characters. Its your voice that allows you talk to the reader in printed form.
There are two main ideas when discussing Voice.
The first is your distinctive writing style. Do you write formal or informal, in dialect or the vernacular? Are you a jargon junkie or invent your own vocabulary? Do you love the long digressive sentences or the abrupt short ones. However you write, an author’s voice is distinctively his/her own. There is nothing wrong with being known for a particular style as long as that style holds true to your passion. Hemingway embraced brevity in his work.
Yet, there are some writers who uses the full range of writing styles, that can be found in the cannon of their work. They use the second style in Voice, believing each story, each character deserves a different Voice of expression. Using different Voice, for each story I develop, is my way of expression voice. Becoming my characters, and using the gambit with usage and form.
A writer’s voice isn’t something you can be taught or required with practice. Your voice doesn’t come from trying to sound like your favorite author, or using big words you found in the dictionary to see how wonderful they look on a page. A writers voice, is your voice.
Your voice may change, depending on who your main character is, and the kind of story you’re wiring. Yet, for some this may not. But in every case, it’s essential to get down to the precise details that make each character and experience unique. These details might sound simple and seemingly ordinary, but they will make the story real.
The essential elements of a book–the plot, characters, setting, description–are all important, but alone make up the skeleton, nerves and muscle. The writer’s voice breathes life into those words and gives it a soul. With a voice, a book becomes a living breathing entity, a story worthy of the reading.
The Voice is the writers once in a lifetime opportunity to beckon a reader to curl up with their book and whisper, ” Pay attention, I’ve got a story to tell.”
Copyright © 2013 Glynis Rankin