Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Finding Your Voice

post by Michelle Griep
"Developing a personal style signals growth and maturity — a strong grasp of the fundamentals, 
a confidence in your ability, and a desire to advance in your craft by saying what you want to say, 
on your terms.
~ Matt McCue

What makes a writer unique is his voice. No, not some raspy, chain-smoking kind of gravelly tone. I'm talking the way an author puts words together. How a writer lets sentences flow exactly as he thinks them. 

In essence: being yourself.

The elusive thing about voice, though, is that you can't learn it. You already have it. The trick is in letting it loose. But there area few things you can do to help your voice be heard loud and clear . . . 

Let 'er rip.
You do not have to follow all the writing "rules" that you've learned. In fact, if you do, you'll be so stymied by the fear of breaking those rules that the only voice a reader will hear is a timid mouse squeak. So pry your fingers off the fear button. Go ahead. Here's your permission.

Be yourself.
Do you use slang a lot when you speak? Then use it in your writing. Do you talk like a 'hood rat about to bust a sweet deal? Use that tone. Are you a prim and proper grammar nazi whilst partaking of a discussion? Then dot your i's and cross your t's in your manuscript. The point is that you should write like you talk.

Read.
I know. This sounds like a stupid made-up way to gain your voice. How the heck can reading other author's voices help you? Believe it or not, it can. When you see how other writers craft their work, fearless, blunt, rhythmic, it frees you to pen words in your own creative way. Peer pressure works. Just sayin'.

Write.
The more you write, the more you'll feel comfortable slapping words on a page, the more likely your voice will roam free from your head to your fingertips.

Above all, just be natural. Getting freaked out about voice is a sure way to muzzle it. If you immerse yourself in the story, your voice can't help but to come out.

2 comments:

Robin Mason said...

so, so true, all of them! my favourite is the one about rules. i say it this way, i *know* the rules so i know what i can get away with and how best to break (bend) them! and by the way, my voice is like my handwriting—it's its own font!!!

chappydebbie said...

Me thinks ye be talkin' a good talk here, Matey. A writer should always be true to him/herself when penning a tale.....too much? Arrgh....nay, says I! Hehehehe....this is fun. ;-)

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