Voice is like a hidden treasure. Once you discover it and open its lid, riches abound. For some writers, voice is something they have sailed many seas to find. So, we’ve made a map to make it easier.
I’ve talked before about how VOICE comes from living life and experiencing new things, and that can be true. It can also come from within, knowing yourself, but what makes readers love the Voice of a book? Authenticity comes to mind. There is a voice inside of us all. Once we find it, we genuinely make friends through our characters with our readers.
Get your pen (or your keyboard). Today will practice.
These exercises should steer you in the right direction in finding your voice. Once you find it, you won’t be wandering like an orphan among many genres. You will find your home and grow up.
First find WHERE you should be writing.
At a literary festival in China, a British Author, Josh Lacey recommended this:
Choose a scene. Any scene. Lacey’s idea was a car accident- the parent driving, and the child in the back seat. But I don’t like accidents, so lets say a parent and a child were camping, and a bear walks into their campsite (loads better than an accident). Get the idea in your head. Now write it from three perspectives: Write it from the parent’s POV. (An adult). Then write it from the child’s POV, say he’s 15. (Young Adult). Then write it from a younger child’s POV. (Middle Grade or younger.)
Use five minutes for each.
Done? Now, which perspective did you find easiest? Which was most comfortable for you to write? Which one did you like the most? Which one sounded the best? Did the answer surprise you? Did you find the age group you like writing for?
Now ponder and nod; scratch your chin and scribble in your notebook.
Which genre do you love reading the most? Which characters and dialogues do you find yourself stopping at and why? Take a chapter in a book you love. Replace the characters with your own characters. Rewrite. Bonus exercise: rewrite the scene in another genre as well. Take note of the voice.
Part 1: What does your voice sound like when it is just you? Do you journal? Usually when we journal, we are ourselves–we break writing rules, we play around, and we create. These are useful to examine. Journal about your “today” as naturally as you can.
Part 2: A writer friend told me once he believed that our most authentic voice comes from our inner voice of Joy. So now choose a joyful memory. Write it out. Examine the voice. Now take that memory and the journal of your “today” and compare, then rewrite them both in a fantasy world or another country or planet.
Find any treasure yet?
Nova, signing off
Photo credit: blendernation.com