Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tuesday's Inspiration - Finding Your Voice #MFRWauthor #writing

While reading Anne Lamott's Bird By Bird, I came upon an essay on Voice, the writer's voice. Just as each of us has a distinct speaking voice, we also have a writing voice. This is through choices of words, nouns verbs, helping words. Working to find your unique voice happens over the years. At first you may semi-imitate another writer or your voice is buried under the demands of learning the mechanicsof writing. Mechanics can be taught. Voice is developed.

I once read three historical novels for acontest and I really shook my head. All the books sounded the same though a different author and a different time period was covered by the books. Wondering why this had happened I looked at several things. First, the publisher was the same and second so was the editor. What did this tell me?

Each house has what is sort of deemed house style. This editor did a marvelous job of removing the unique aturor's voice and making it the house voice. Certain adjectives and adverbs were found in the books. Certain verbs and nouns were used.

So what can a writer do if someone tries to ruin their voice by editing it from the story? Either accept or go through the edits and accept only those that enhance their voice and reject those that are editorial in flavor. Hard to do but having a reader say after reading a few pages, "I know this author. I like this author."

Each writer has a voice, a unique voice.

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