Tips and resources
Give a Voice to the Author in You

“A distinct writing voice is a hallmark of good writing”.

There are many authors who have clearly pronounced literary voices and can be recognized in a single sentence. Writers wish that their script be captivating and inspiring.
The writer’s voice is not something you can measure; it’s subjective, but possible to be defined and identified.

Elements that your writer’s voice possess:

Character

Your voice should reflect you – your emotions and beliefs and what moves you. Your readers should feel you through your voice, at the same time don’t be an intruder in your writing! However, in fiction, your writing should be humanized.

Your character – as a whole and its traits – influence your writing voice.

Your style should emanate your feelings on the topic you’re penning. It’s your duty to trigger in your readers the right kind of feelings that you want them to experience. And it’s the way your voice sounds that achieves it.

Quality of your voice

The tone you lend to your writing is the most important characteristic of your voice. When you express, you reveal a lot about yourself and how you feel because of your tone. Writing is the same but, instead of voice changes, you use punctuation and wording. When you communicate through your words, you create special visual effects. The way each aspect of your writing connects with your readers makes you unique.

How you say things is equally important as what you say to have a voice

There are several ‘shades or tones’ you can adopt in your writing – humorous, dramatic, intimate, jovial, sophisticated, sarcastic and many more. The tone you use will have a big impact on your branding.

Not using the same tone always sets a pace and dynamism – you can adjust your tone to suit the mood of the characters which will help breathe realism into your writing. For instance, you can write your short stories in an intimate, personal and slow-paced tone; but generally blogs are written in an informal and direct manner. Some factors that influence your style of writing could be the type of narration, setting, timeline of your story – beginning, middle or end. Beginning is usually a bit dynamic taking the readers through a wave of sequences unfolding the chain of events of the story. The important part is to be consistent throughout your writing.

Rhythm

Rhythm plays an important role in making the pace of the read. You can enter the right rhythm to your writing through sentence construction, phase structure, the length of the paragraphs or sentences, alliterations, rhymes or punctuation. Contrary to the tone, rhythm is technical.

Through a few simple steps it is possible to find and develop your characteristic unique voice.

Determine your point of view-

Before embarking on a new script, you should ask yourself

  • Why am I writing this particular piece of fiction or non-fiction to begin with?
  • Is there a theme about the world that you want to express in your script?
  • Is there something you observed in real life, that you want to commit to the page? OR
  • Are you simply interested in entertaining your readers with a good story while making them smile through their reading journey?

People pursue the art of writing to achieve various goals. Understanding your own intentions will help you set a strong voice and a distinct style of your own.

Crop a consistent voice for your narrators

Some authors are comfortable with first-person narration, while some others would prefer to narrate exclusively from the third-person perspective. Second-person narration proves to be a challenge to sustain throughout the entire narrative and is hence seldom used. We have often seen many famous fiction writer’s choosing to opt for moving between first-person and third-person narrative voice simultaneously in a piece. You can establish your own writing voice by choosing and practicing one style and continuing with it.

Create a right sentence structure and pick the apt words

When narrating a novel–

  • will you use grammatically perfect English?
  • will you use regional phrases and colloquialisms?
  • will you curse or use abusive language to suit some characters if needed!

Difference in simple techniques like using short or long sentences can completely change the mood and tone of the author’s narrative. Adopting certain norms regarding your word choice and sentence construction will further distinguish your own voice as an author.

Balance your description and dialogues

Some authors love to project their storyline with long descriptive passages – they describe actions and emotions in detail and use dialogues to strengthen or assert their tone. Contrastingly, some authors would define the tone to their narrative not only with a persuasive dialogue but also with vivid imagination. Picking one of these styles and presenting in it is a proven method to establish your unique voice.

Write, write and write more

Finding your voice takes time. Experiment with different voices and manuscript styles or if you are comfortable writing romance novels, try your luck at thrillers. If you are used to writing novels, try a short story. Consider enrolling for a writing course with authors whose style inspires you and join discussion forums in order to improve your writing skills and expose yourself to different genres of author voice. It is not bad to let your mind wander at times. For, that becomes the time when your mind forages and forges new thoughts and shapes them up into new words. Thereby, you imbibe a most inimitable writing style subconsciously. It often take several books and thousands of words for a writer’s original or most becoming voice to emerge. Being patient with yourself is the key to a successful way forward.

Good writing is a time-taking venture and once you embark upon it you will still have to traverse a longer path to develop the voice of the writer inside you.

Remember

Your writer’s voice is the expression of ‘YOU’ on the page.