Are you stylish? I’m not talking about what’s in your closet, but about your narrative style. In Donald Maass’s book, The Fire In Fiction, he goes into the importance of a writer’s voice, how you tell your tale. He points out different ways to make your voice “shout out”.
GIVING CHARACTERS VOICE – This doesn’t mean just taking their dialogue and dialect and making it different, but it means their outlook…their take on life. You need characters who have a unique way of looking at things, without becoming cartoonish. Their opinions need to be heard, however different it is from the norm. Sometimes we make our characters “safe”, when we really should let them be real.
DETAILS AND DELIVERY – Maass asks why we avoid making a hero really different. He says, “Even the most ordinary people have a life that’s unique. The details that make it so are a secret source of what critics glibly refer to as voice.” Details are important. They give a story life and a voice. The way you state things, or the way your character speaks, gives your story its voice. It can be through syntax and/or details of what they say, do, or feel.
DIFFERENT WAYS OF RELATING STORY – Writers need to choose beforehand which POV and which tense to write from. There’s no right or wrong way, but whatever you choose, you need to go deep into it. Make the character real, flaws and all.
I think VOICE is such an elusive thing. While I don’t think your voice can be manipulated, I think Maass has some good suggestions for making your voice come through loud and clear. His ideas give a spring board to amplify your writing and letting you ….the real you…be heard.
It’s not just the words that make a writer’s voice unique. It’s all the little things like details, delivery, outlook, original perspective, opinions, etc, that make an author’s voice shout out.
I haven’t found my voice yet. Not sure how I would go about finding it, other than just writing alot. Just getting started in this journey, I feel I am whispering…a little bit afraid to speak up. Do you think you have found your voice? Is it shouting yet?