I admit, this old chestnut has flummoxed me since I began writing fiction nine years ago.
I was told by my super Open University tutor, that I would need to find my voice in writing, but, even now, I don’t think I have.
Maybe it’s partly because I write short stories for magazines, and like to vary my style, depending on the magazine I’m writing for. I’ve certainly developed a few voices for my short stories, four at last count. No, that doesn’t mean I have multiple personalities. Well I don’t think it does.
My problem with voice has extended to novels. The suspense thriller I’m editing now has a very different voice to Phototime, and in turn earlier novels I attempted had a different voice again.
Maybe with novels, it’s because I haven’t been published. I’m still trying to find a voice that captures the interest of the reader.
So it seems I’m still on a voice-discovering journey – even after all this time. It’s as though ‘the voice’ (no not the TV programme) is a bit like buried treasure I can’t find. And even if I did find it, would I recognise it?
I know I need to find a voice that makes my work unique and stand out. It needs to make the reader sit up, mute the TV, and say ‘Hang on, this is a jolly good voice, by jove.’ And not only that; they’ll recognise it next time. I need the voice to speak to the reader. I need a voice that’s individual.
No pressure there then.
Oh, and HERE’s a blog post with five steps to finding your writing voice.
And another HERE about knowing your voice.
Right, I'm off to have a look in the bottom of the wardrobe. I mean that’s got to be where C. S. Lewis found his voice, yes?