Monday, August 24, 2009

Finding Your Voice
By Patricia Sargeant

Your writer's voice is the most powerful selling tool you possess.

I think I've discussed this before on this blog. I'm certain you've heard it before. But it's worth repeating. A lot of writers stumble over writing "rules," and forget that - beyond the goal/motivation/conflict; the Hero's Journey and the point of view - the most important thing to develop is a strong, unique voice. Sometimes that means breaking the rules. But that's a subject for another blog. Right now, I want to talk about the voices.

I've heard agents and editors say that what drew them to one author over another is the selling author's writing voice. The author they pursued had a strong voice, a unique way of telling a story. They connected with that writer's voice. It excited them.

I have a hard time describing my voice. Do you? It's easier for me to describe someone else's voice than it is to describe my own. Do you have the same struggle? I think it's because we're so close to our writing. We know we enjoy what we've written, but it's hard to say why.

I read a writing craft blog the other day posted by a freelance editor who explained that one way to determine what your voice entails is to identify your favorite part of the writing process. Do you like to plot? Then your writing strength lies within the story. Do you prefer dialogue over description? Then you probably have a fast-pace storytelling style. Do you enjoy crafting your characters and letting them direct your story? Then your voice is character-driven.

What approach do you prefer? Or do you take another direction with your writing?

One last tip that you may have heard before. The best way to develop your writer's voice is to write. Write often, write a lot. The more you write, the more developed will be your writer's voice.

Write on!


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