From our archives . . .
In a talk with literary agent Simon Trewin on the Writing.ie Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pg/writing.ie/videos/, the discussion turned how to query agents and what they look for. One of the things often mentioned is voice. Your author voice is unique to you and something that can confuse a lot of new writers. In this week’s column, I thought it would be a good idea to focus on voice and what exactly that means. The links included also offer tips and advice on how you can find your author voice.
New writers often begin by trying to emulate their favourite writers, and this is quite normal. It can take a novel, or two, or even ten before you find your unique author voice. When you think about it, your favourite author has his or her unique style. You know when you pick up one of their books what you can expect. This is not genre related. It’s their voice. What made you fall in love with their writing. If you’re a big fan, you could probably pick their writing out amongst several fellow authors. The reason for this is author voice and hopefully, the links I’ve included below will help you find yours.
- https://prowritingaid.com/art/809/an-author-s-voice-and-how-to-find-it.aspx – An Author’s Voice and How to Find It: This article comes from ProWritingAid and discusses what an author voice is as well as what it isn’t. It then moves on to providing four tips on how to find your unique author voice and cultivate it. The article finishes with a section on how to polish your author voice.
- https://goinswriter.com/writing-voice/ – 10 Steps to Finding Your Writing Voice: This article comes from Goins Writer and includes a great exercise that you can do to find your author voice. He also talks about voice and how it can often be one of the biggest struggles for writers. The ten-step exercise has some great elements to it and is worth carving some time out to do. The article concludes with a section on why you need a writing voice.
- https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2016/07/25/author-voice/ – How to Find Your Author Voice with Roz Morris: This is one of Joanna Penn’s amazing podcasts where she talks with author Roz Morris. You can read the transcript of the show or list to the podcast. Some of the topics covered include what author’s voice is and why it matters, how long it takes to find your author voice, how your author brand can relate to your author voice, and more. One section I particularly enjoyed was how character dialogue is different from your author voice, and I couldn’t agree more.
- https://writingcooperative.com/3-simple-things-you-can-do-to-find-your-writing-voice-9c6210dd6f0c – 3 Simple Things You Can Do To Find Your Writing Voice: This article comes from The Writing Cooperative and is a simple guide on how to find and develop your author voice. The author of this post discusses the difficulty he had trying to find his voice in the beginning before moving on to offering his top three tips. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to find that reading is among one of these as is making writing a daily habit.
- https://writingcooperative.com/the-writers-voice-what-is-and-how-to-find-yours-ed82f1884984 – Writer’s Voice: What It Is and How To Find Yours: This article contains some fabulous information on writer’s voice including a list of things that it is not. There’s a quote from literary agent, Rachel Gardner, who defines a writer’s voice as being the expression of the writer on the page. The next part of the article talks about the different elements that are part of your writer’s voice including your personality, tone, and rhythm of your writing. The last section of the article offers advice on how to find your author voice. This is definitely worth taking five minutes out to read.
- https://nybookeditors.com/2017/06/find-writers-voice/ – How to Find Your Writer’s Voice: This article is from the NY Book Editors and it talks about what a writer’s voice is. It offers four different answers and then details each one, before moving on to discuss how you as a writer can find your authentic voice. There are three questions to ask yourself including, what words you would use to describe yourself and how other people describe you.
I hope you enjoyed the links today and I look forward to bringing you some more Really Useful Links next week. If there is a topic that you would like to see covered, get in touch and I will see what I can do. Don’t forget to check out the Writing.ie Facebook page to catch up on the talks with literary agent Simon Trewin and tune in every Friday at noon to catch the latest instalment. https://www.facebook.com/pg/writing.ie/videos/
(c) Amanda J Evans