Finding Your Writing Voice: Really Useful Links by Lucy O’Callaghan

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Lucy O'Callaghan

Many famous writers can be identified through just a sentence or paragraph. This is down to their unique voice and style. Finding your own voice as a writer is important, and sometimes it can be difficult not to emulate writers you read. I have put together some articles and YouTube videos on finding and developing your own writing voice.

  1. 6 Steps to Develop Your Unique Author Voice (prowritingaid.com)

An author’s voice is their honest and distinctive self-expression. It encompasses two aspects: what you have to say and how you say it. You might ask why, if readers are more interested in the characters’ voices than the authors, should a fiction writer be concerned with developing their true authorial voice? The answer lies in the first aspect of voice, what you have to say; the themes and issues your fiction explores will come from a perspective unlike any other writer’s. They might not be obvious to you yet, but they’re in your subconscious. The more you write, the more they will reveal themselves. This article shares six steps you can take to boost the development of your true writing voice. These include being willing to practice and experiment, knowing you won’t like everything you write, asking yourself questions, finding stillness to listen for your true voice, and don’t equivocate.

  1. What is a Writer’s Voice & Tips for Finding Your Writing Voice (scribophile.com)

A writer’s voice is a blend of the writer’s personal style, tone, personality, vocabulary, syntax, and unique experiences. Many writers can be identified by the unique way their voices sound on the page, even when narrators and genres change. It’s important to note that the writer’s voice isn’t the same thing as their character’s voice. A writer’s voice is the expression of the author; a character’s voice is the unique way in which their fictional characters express themselves. This article discusses 5 writer’s distinctive voices: Mark Twain, Raymond Chandler, Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, and Agatha Christie, before moving onto share 3 ways to develop your own writing voice. These include reading voraciously, trying on other writers, and experimenting with structure. One thing not to do is try to be consistent. You shouldn’t do this for two reasons. Firstly, if you need to force yourself to keep your writer’s voice consistent, it’s not your writer’s voice. The second reason is that your writer’s voice is constantly evolving. Trying to keep it ‘consistent’ is to limit all the possibilities of what it can become.

  1. How to Find Your Writing Voice: 10 Questions to Ask (thewritepractice.com)

Your writing voice is your unique way of looking at the world. This article shares questions to ask yourself to find your unique writing voice. Think about what you value most? What is your moral worldview? People watch and ask yourself questions about those people. Observe your surroundings.

  1. What Is the Writer’s Voice? How to Find Your Writing Voice – 2024 – MasterClass

Certain bestselling writers like Joseph Conrad, Toni Morrison, and Ernest Hemingway have notably distinctive voices as writers and can often be recognised a single sentence. Part of the timeless appeal of many favourite novelists is their clearly defined literary voice. Masterclass begins by explaining the difference between the author’s voice and character’s voice before sharing examples of author’s voice from famous novelists. As a novelist becomes more practiced in their work, their voice will likely develop to the point that it is rapidly recognisable to readers. While there is no foolproof way to establish one’s authorial voice, there are three ways to jumpstart the process. These are picking a consistent voice for your narrators, deciding whether you’ll write formally or colloquially, and if your novels will be driven by description or by dialogiue.

  1. Voice in Writing: The Simple Guide to Finding Yours (jerryjenkins.com)

Your voice in writing is you. It’s your distinct personality, character, passion, emotion, and purpose. It’s the lens through which you see yourself and the world. Your voice sets the tone and conveys your message in your own unique way. This article shares an exercise to try to find your writing voice and shares an example. In fiction, you transfer your voice to your perspective character. The article also shares examples of voice in writing.

YouTube

Finding your voice as a writer is something that a lot of writers struggle with. As a new writer, it’s hard to figure out what your voice might be, or if you even have one, and it’s not always straightforward for more experienced writers either. It may sometimes seem like you don’t have a distinctive voice at all, but over time, your voice will get clearer, even if you don’t necessarily notice it happening. It doesn’t matter if you write flash fiction, short stories or novels, you will have a voice, it’s unavoidable. It might not arrive in a flash, but one day, you’ll realise it’s there. It’s your trademark language, imagery, phrasing and overall style.

This video discusses practice over perfectionism, learning to line edit, prioritising clarity, building voice with strong words, not weak words. It advises the writer to read avidly, but don’t emulate, save words you like, embrace simplicity when needed, and let your style develop.

You will have to make some decisions in order to find your voice, but they won’t be about what kind of words to use. They’ll be about what to risk, how sincere to be, and how seriously you’re going to take this whole writing gig.

The good thing about finding your voice, is that it is there in you, in your unique way of looking at the world. You just have to get that across on the page. I hope you have found this week’s column useful. As always, please get in touch if there are any topics you would like me to cover.

(c) Lucy O’Callaghan

Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31.

Facebook: @LucyCOCallaghan

Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

About the author

Writing since she was a child, Lucy penned her first story with her father called Arthur’s Arm, at the ripe old age of eight. She has been writing ever since. Inspired by her father’s love of the written word and her mother’s encouragement through a constant supply of wonderful stationary, she wrote short stories for her young children, which they subsequently illustrated.
A self-confessed people watcher, stories that happen to real people have always fascinated her and this motivated her move to writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her writing has been described as pacy, human, moving and very real.
Lucy has been part of a local writing group for over ten years and has taken creative writing classes with Paul McVeigh, Jamie O’Connell and Curtis Brown Creative. She truly found her tribe when she joined Writer’s Ink in May 2020. Experienced in beta reading and critiquing, her debut novel, The Lies Beneath is out now, published by Poolbeg.
Follow her on Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31. Facebook and Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

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