Monday, 23 January 2017

Finding your voice as a writer

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?


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Amanda - I imagine writing for different magazines and different audiences does throw up a different approach in your writing. Keep writing ... and keep practising - it will suddenly arrive ... I have to say that's what I did with the blog, just kept on - it certainly won't satisfy everyone, but it is a unique voice ...

Cheers and just enjoy the writing ... Hilary

Amanda said...

Thank you, Hilary. Yes, I think writing for different audiences, does give a different approach. And it's a good observation that we won't satisfy everyone, but we should just keep on and enjoy the writing!

Shawna said...

Thank you for linking to me at The Honeyed Quill. I know what you mean on voice in short stories versus voice in novels. I'll be reading more often. :)

Amanda said...

My pleasure, Shawna - it's a very interesting post. :-)