Monday, February 21, 2011

Use your voice.

I say this to my kids often. "Use your voice." They usually look at me funny. My daughter then will ask, "What does that mean?" Hmmm. She tends to act more like a 15 year old than a 5 year old. She's right, what does it mean? In writing, this is one of my struggles, even though in some instances I've been told my characters have a great voice. I tend to disagree--that's my Pessy side (pessimist side.)

Author voice and character voice. Sounds intimidating.

Author voice--well it's your voice. It's your style, your humor, your sarcasm...It's the way you write. You could write 10 entirely different books, but your voice would be there somewhere threading each one in your published blanket linked to you. Is this easy to achieve? I don't know, but it takes practice. It's something you develop as you strengthen your mad writing skills.

Character voice. This one's easy, right? It's your characters way of speaking. Are they from England? then they have an accent and a certain slang that you may have to consider to make them real. It could be as simple as a character who speaks proper (she is a snob) vs. (she's a snob.)

Of course, my descriptions are short and well I don't have a whole lot of examples. Mainly because I found an awesome post that really helped me in this department. Roni at Fiction Groupie wrote a post on this topic way back in May. Check it out.

In the end, this skill takes practice and lots of it. So keep writing.

How's your voice?

Any tips on strengthening this skill?

How was your weekend?

My weekend was pretty good. I'm beta reading so I'm almost finished that. I also managed to put together two versions of my WiP#1, yeah crazy. I just need to finish the revisions on the ending--wicked fighting scenes. Can't wait.

I also got to meet up with my CP, Kelly, and Frankie. Frankie, thanks so much for the advice. I can't wait to get crackin' on your suggestions.

Hi to my new blogger buddies/crusaders. I will be visiting soon.
Have a great day!


  1. Nice post, C. Character voice is something I really enjoy working on. I love playing around with it. My voice, though, is a different subject. For me, it's my personal spice threaded throughout my books. It's kind of nice.

  2. I love reading posts on voice on seeing someone else's take on it. I love that teachers talk to my kids about their writing voice - not that my kids understand what it is. As with everyone, we know voice when we read it! It's often hard to see it in our own work because we're too close to it.

  3. I think my voice in historicals is pretty good. My contemporaries suck though. And I know it's because my "real" voice comes through. Guess I better stick to historicals.

    Over the weekend I wrote about 8k words so I'm over 53K for the win. 30 more and I'm done. Yay me.

    Monster Child thinks she's 15 as well, she's only 6. Maybe we should get them together. Can you imagine THAT conversation?

  4. I do love it when I can still see my voice wrapped in the story. It's like your signature, I think it's amazing.

    When I first began writing I followed Susan Elizabeth Phillips, everything I wrote sounded like her. Then I put down her novels and suddenly began writing my own voice! It's great!

  5. I always did a big round of revisions just focusing on voice, and I'll be doing that soon. As a reader, I love books with good character and author voices, so I try my best in my writing. Good luck on your WiP!

  6. voice is such a bitch, because i don't think it's something you can learn without just doing a lot of writing.
    People sometimes tell me i have a strong voice, which is always surprising to me because it's not something i'm aware of. I know it when i see it on other's writing, but am pretty blind to it with my own

  7. My husband said he always hears my voice when he reads my MSs... but then he also says they've got a strong voice. Now I'm trying to figure out if that's a compliment or not... :D LOL! Weekend was work work work over here. Bleah! <3

  8. Voice is one of the hardest things to explain and one of the most difficult things to master. Practice is the best. And I always tell my girls to use their voice, or I say their words a lot of the time too.

  9. Agree with Michelle - no idea how to explain it and certainly can't define my own.

  10. A great movie on "voice" is "The King's Speech" in theaters now. I really enjoyed it. Course, it isn't about a writer's voice...even though some parts of it might be. But what you do get from it is how important being heard correctly is to a person.

  11. I think my voice needs some work. It's not quite sharp enough. But I'm getting there! Reading aloud really helps because then I can hear that it isn't what I want.

    My weekend? Pretty good, thanks :)

  12. I'm told people can hear my voice when I write, but I couldn't tell you why! Haven't got a clue. Used to obsess over it and that seemed to make it worse. Now it's just a nagging question that is always in the back of my mind.

    Happy Monday!

  13. Voice is so fun. I think I have a really good YA voice, but that's just me. I hope you had a great weekend!

  14. Hi, Christine! I'm a crusader and I'm touring the sites. It's so much fun. I write so many different genres I hope I have a single voice, but that's iffy. ; )

  15. I have no suggestions, but I find when I’m not using my voice, my writing is stiff and doesn’t flow. I have to go back to repair the damage.

  16. I'm in group 10 with you!

    In my mind a character's voice is how the author perceives someone acting or speaking. It's like when we gossip about our neighbors and use their voice but put our twist on it. Haha!

  17. Hi there, fellow Group 10'er! I'm in two groups, and I think you're the only one in either of my groups that I already knew.

    Voice is so important. My wip has two first-person POVs, and I tried very hard to make their voices very unique, so that a reader could tell which one was telling the story at that point just by their voice.