Capturing That Elusive Writer’s Voice and Making it Sing

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Sooo true. I’m claiming this saying for myself.

When I first began the submission process on my first novel, I read over and over from agents and publishers on their websites that they wanted to see submissions reflecting a unique writer’s voice. I had no idea what that was at the time, but still thought, hey, that’s me. What’s not unique about my voice? I’m a Kiwi from Down Under. My voice is my own, and I have an extremely unique take on the world being that I’m always standing upside-down and the other-way-around. 🙂

Yeah, that’s not writer’s voice, but it wasn’t long before I truly understood what it was. I also came to realize it’s the most elusive aspect of writing, that it’s a challenge to truly grasp, yet also a challenge I could completely take on.

So, what is writer’s voice?

Writer’s voice is that wonderful combination of blending your own unique writing style with a deep understanding of your characters, along with knowing how their story best needs to be told. A writer’s voice is the most moving part of the story, and it’s sometimes referred to as the heartbeat of the main character. In other words, a writer’s voice is the magic that makes the story soar.

A strong writer’s voice brings the POV character to life, captivates the reader and has them hanging onto every word, every description, action, emotion and reaction.

A writer’s voice should be completely authentic, and most certainly not a copy of your favorite author.

A writer’s voice should also allow the reader to bond emotionally with the main character, to forge a connection that can’t be broken. This is why it’s so important for a writer to know their characters inside and out.

I’ve spoken before about understanding your characters in this way, and well before you get to the end of your first draft, otherwise there can be a ton of rewriting simply because you’ve come late to the party. A writer needs to know the heart of their main character, their essence, what makes them tick, what their strengths and ultimate fears are. You need to be intimately familiar with their entire thought process. Nothing is off-limits. And therein the magic begins.

Magic = Knowing your characters.

Magic = Constantly growing our writing skills and abilities.

Magic = Understanding, and writing your POV correctly.

That’s right, don’t forget to nail your POV within your writer’s voice. Knowing which POV would be the best in telling your story is incredibly important. 1st Person, 3rd Person, DEEP POV? Omni? The wrong POV can do your story a disservice, so study, study, study. And read widely in the genres of your stories.

I hope this post was helpful. Have you discovered and mastered your writer’s voice? Perhaps you’re still on the road to getting there. It definitely takes time and perseverance. In truth, I’m still traveling along that road. With each story I write, my writer’s voice strengthens and becomes more distinct. It’s all about the magic.

Today is also my official release date for WARRIOR. Yay! Any if you want to read a thrilling new Young Adult Fantasy series filled with intrigue at every corner, then by all means, check out the book links below to pick up your copy of PROTECTOR or WARRIOR.

Each book in my Magio-Earth series features a different hero and heroine, but the characters from the books all intertwine and you get to catch up with them all along the way. As such the books can be read independently of each other, but of course as with most series, they’re more fun when read in order. Here are those links:

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Buy PROTECTOR (Book One) at: Amazon Kindle / B&N Nook / iTunes / Kobo

Buy WARRIOR (Book Two) at: Amazon Kindle / B&N Nook / iTunes / Kobo

THANKS EVERYONE FOR JOINING ME. YOU HAVE A SUPER DUPER WEEK.

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18 thoughts on “Capturing That Elusive Writer’s Voice and Making it Sing

  1. Voice is certainly the thing that makes a novel or short story stand out from a landscape of mediocre similar offerings. I know it when I see it (hear it), but it’s so much harder finding your own.

  2. You have a strong and compelling voice. You also let the characters have theirs, which is why they come across to readers as real and likable. It’s why readers root for your characters to triumph and get their HEA. Character voice is as important as author voice. More so if the character is also the narrator. <<–and that is the secret of why it's so hard for so many to understand what "voice" is. A 25 year old male character from England shouldn't tell the story or speak like his 45 year old Texas-born author.

    1. Wow. Thank you so much, Penny. It’s my ultimate goal to have a strong and compelling writer’s voice. I’m so glad you think mine is. I love that you touched here on DEEP POV, where the character is also the narrator. Nailing that POV is so incredibly important. 🙂

  3. A lot of writers think there is some sort of trick to getting a “voice,” or that they have to mimic another famous author’s voice, but they’re wrong. You are born with a voice, and you are meant to use it.

  4. Fabulous post, Joanne, and so true. I’ve always thought it incredibly ironic that when we stop struggling to find our writing voice and concentrate on letting the characters present the story, our writing voice magically rings clear to readers.
    You do have a wonderful voice, very distinct and enjoyable to read. I tend to think, though, you could write in any voice, become any character you wanted. ;-).
    Congratulations on Warrior’s release!

    1. You’re so right, Mary. It’s all about concentrating on the characters, and allowing them to tell their story. That’s truly when the magic began for me, and when my voice shone through.

      I love what you’ve said, that you believe I could write in any voice, become any character I wanted. I’m currently deep into my Highlander Heat series and my hero is a big hunky Highlander from 1590 who can swing a claymore and fight to the death for his clan. He totally rules the story. I’m just sitting in the back seat, enjoying the ride as he controls everything, every line of dialogue and sequence of events. It’s a kind of magic all in itself. 🙂

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