Voice is a big thing in writing. That is the way that readers hear you; that is what, overall, comes across. There’s a lot of talk about “finding your voice,” and whether a writer has “found his/her voice,” but how do you know?
You’ve found your voice when your work sounds like it couldn’t come from anyone but you.
Easy, right? OK, fine, not so much. It’s something that takes a while to get to, which is fine, because while you’re working on it, you are improving the mechanics of your writing.
Everyone who puts pen to paper, or pixels to screen, starts out with grand literary plans, with the idea that he or she will become The Next Important Writer. And that perspective generally results in some pretty bad work, if you’re ready to be honest. Seriously, go back an check out early attempts. Overblown prose? Check. Pompous choice of language? Check. Too much…everything?
So you get that out of your system, and one day, you sit down with the idea that just won’t leave you alone. You know it’s not like other ideas, you know it’s not quite like something other people might do, and you really can’t be sure anyone would like it.
That’s right. You unfurl that freak flag, and let that sucker wave in the wind of your words.
See what I said right there? That’s weird. You know what else? It’s utterly me.
My thoughts have always been a little off-kilter when taken with the rest of the world. I see the funny in the absurd, and when I can push it, I like it all the more. I’m never going to write something that appeals to everyone. I’m only ever going to write things that, at their heart, have a dose of weird. Even my cozy mystery, which is far more mainstream than, say, Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) retains some of that sense of being off-kilter, because that is my way of seeing the world.
I accept my weirdness, completely, and with that, I can share my point of view with other people, ones who think like I do, and others who don’t, but find it a new, interesting way to see.
You don’t have to be weird. You don’t have to be funny. You have to be you while you’re writing. You and no one else, and the voice will come.
Check out my full-length novels, Her Cousin Much Removed, The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!