One of the difficult aspects of writing is finding your voice. The best way to discuss voice is to give several examples of how the author’s voice can influence the reader.
I recently read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and he has an incredible author voice in his writing as well as each character has a distinct voice. Markus’s writing is poetic and descriptive, painting a clear picture of each scene. Markus makes you feel the deep emotions that are involved in relationships between families and friends.
Recently, I beta read my sister, Sonyo Estavillo‘s, novel she is working on. Her voice reminded me of Markus’s with poetic and descriptive narration. I had forgotten how talented she was as a writer. She too had a distinct voice that was very different from mine. Sonyo’s words present raw feelings that many of us try to suppress. She also sprinkles her work with humor.
Michael S. Fedison, talented author of The Eye-Dancers, has a good-feel voice like a warm hug. The book was inspired by his childhood, close childhood friendships, and brought to life with the magic of being a kid. Michael’s voice is authentic and leaves you with a cozy feeling inside.
Another talented writer is John Darryl Winston, author of the IA series (IA Initiate, IA B.O.S.S., and IA Union). John’s voice embraces the life of inner city living for teens with the hard trials of the streets. His voice is straightforward, very similar to mine, but he has some poetic aspects in his writing. When I think of the streets, I think of gangs and violence. John has this in his books, but his voice instills positive feelings in the reader rather than the negative aspects of a hard life. His voice makes you feel like you can overcome all for a better life.
I mentioned all authors above, but I can’t forget the voice on blogs. Shiva Malekopmath is a blogger who oozes with positive energy. His voice is gentle, humble, and giving. If you ever need to be uplifted, I highly recommend reading some of his words and soaking in his voice.
As I continue to read the works of many talented authors, I appreciate their individual voices. Each author is writing about something that comes from his/her soul. I think the most important aspect of finding your voice with writing is being authentic. Does the writing sound real? Does it sound like the work was written by a real person, or does it sound phony, stilted or awkward? I notice that if I try too hard to write like an author I admire, it doesn’t sound authentic. And it is not because the writing is not me. We are all different and no two writers are alike. We have been blessed with much great writing, but no one has your voice. Your voice, just like mine, belongs to one person. We all come from different paths in life and these experiences are shared through our writing. As I continue to tell stories, I think about one thing:
Be true to yourself for there is no one else like you. As long as you do this, your voice will shine through your words.
Basically, writers, find your voice by being yourself!