Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

How Do Writers Find Their “Voice”?

For those of you who’ve never considered what a writer’s Voice is, Wikipedia has a decent definition:

“The writer’s voice is the individual writing style of an author, a combination of idiotypical usage of syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc., within a given body of text (or across several works).”

And, whoever wrote that definition (or, considering it’s Wikipedia, however many people worked on editing that definition) it has a peculiar Voice since it uses a completely non-typical word (not even in my Oxford dictionary)—“idiotypical”

I would have used “idiosyncratic” and had to go back to Wikipedia just to find a definition for “idiotypical”

So, leaving Wikiness behind, I need to link to two past posts that have videos of Nilofer Merchant:

#SocialEra ~ The New Model for Book Promotion

The #SocialEra Is Much More Than Just “Social Media” . . .

I’m going to share another video of Nilofer today, a video in which she uses a different “Voice” as a public speaker

And, that comment about her “voice” as a speaker seems to me intriguing, since, if you watch all three videos, she uses the same “voice”—one voice being how her vocal chords work and the other being how she uses the same vocal voice with different idiosyncratic mannerisms and stronger emotional emphasis.

Writers, too, can have different Voices in different works.

Yet, if you become familiar with all of a writer’s works, even if there are different Voices in each, there may be a single MetaVoice detectable

Young and untested writers often have imitative voices.

Finding a writing Voice is a very personal journey (nothing like the superficial “advice” some folks peddle) and the journey often involves struggle and heartbreak and commitment to some higher purpose.

And, if you need a simple method for finding your own, a method stressed by nearly all writers, just keep writing, then write some more, and never stop writing—your personal Voice will, eventually, emerge

In the following video, Nilofer isn’t talking only to writers but pay close attention because she uncovers one of the critical aspects of developing the Voice that Only You can have………

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8 responses to “How Do Writers Find Their “Voice”?

  1. Jane Watson November 6, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Wonderful video, I loved her phrase: “only what you can bring..” Perhaps a very useful phrase for a writer to pin up on the wall above their desk. Often, as a writer, I forget that only I can say what I want to say…. it seems so obvious, but unless you hold it in your mind there is the danger that you will find yourself knocking at the door of convention when in fact you could be building a whole new house… and I wonder how many writers have ‘writers block’ not because they can’t write but because they don’t look at themselves and realise they don’t want to open the same old door…:-)


  2. lynnbiederstadt November 6, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    If the first recognizer of my writing ability (my HS teacher John Kruzan) was right (and I think he was), I had a voice all the way back in high school. The confidence in that voice, the evolution of it was, as you say the “keep writing” part of the equation. As for the rest, it grew–and continues to grow–from listening to the inner voice in the head. The middle-of-the-night taped comments and the words are the page are coming closer together…the rhythms of how we think and how we talk (a useful device to differentiate a character’s thought from his/her reactions) tells me that listening is the greatest gift we give ourselves.


  3. Pingback: Voice | panhandleprofessionalwriters

  4. Pingback: Revisiting The #SocialEra | Notes from An Alien

  5. Pingback: Oh, No! Not More Advice About How To Write!! | Notes from An Alien

  6. Pingback: What is “Author Voice” ? | Notes from An Alien

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