Dragonfly Words

Writer’s Voice: What if it just isn’t very good?

August 4, 2010
1 Comment

How do writer’s deal with voice? I’ve been reading a lot on voice lately (mostly in attempts to solve the never-ending problem of which to use – 1st of 3rd person?). While I did not come up with a definitive answer to my question, I did come across a lot of interesting articles about voice.

So what is voice anyway? To sum up all of the definitions I found, voice is the personal flavor you add to your writing; it is how you inject your own personality into your writing. Of course, this can be problematic. What if your personality is boring? The simplest solution would be to quit writing, but that is easier said than done. For those of us who love to write, giving it up is no small feat. So can you make your voice more engaging?

The good news is, yes! In this blog post on Inky Fresh Press, 5 tips are listed to help improve your writing voice:

  • Pay attention to the voice in the books you enjoy reading. Describe the voice.
  • Write from a different perspective – instead of writing a scene from the point of view of your protagonist, try writing it from the point-of-view of the antagonist
  • Read your work out loud. Does it sound natural? Does it sound like you? Why or why not?
  • Write a scene for a different audience
  • Write letters to friends. I find that writing journal entries and rereading them to see voice helps too.

But why is it so hard to find your voice? In a blog post on Rants & Ramblings, Rachelle Gardner discusses the reasons we find voice so hard. A writer’s voice is a personal thing. It is who you are, what makes you unique. But it is so easy to try to be something you are not. We spend so much time putting up a front to our friends, coworkers, strangers we see on the street, and even our families that it is easy to get lost and forget who we really are.

Do you find it hard to stay true to your writing voice? Do you catch yourself copying the voices of successful writers?

Check out this additional post from Inky Fresh Press: What is Writing Voice?