Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Voice and the Refining of the Author's Voice

If you want to make a book, like if you want your book to get picked up by a publisher who will invest money into editing, design, printing and marketing and all that, then you need to have an appealing and strong author voice.

By that, I mean that certain something that shines through the plot, the characters, the description and every other part of your story and comes to rest upon the reader in a pleasing way.

It is much like person to person communication. I can sit down and talk to you and may have something interesting and important to say but if you don't like my tone or my facial expressions or the way I constantly smack my lips while speaking or never make eye contact or talk with my mouth full then it's not likely you'll want to listen to me for very long.

Voice is like that. If it is clear and strong and true it connects with the reader, who will then be more than willing, even eager, to continue this journey of discovery within the pages of the book.

How to get a distinct author voice? There is one way and one way only. It comes with practice. Write write write and write some more.


  1. Great post today. I really agree that voice does come with practice. I feel like the things I'm writing now have more voice than things I've written in the past.

  2. What great advice!! I so agree - practice truly makes perfect! Take care

  3. Examples of Voice help but until the writer has a Eureka! moment, it is difficult to describe.

    Good post.

  4. It's the hardest thing to achieve, I think. And yes, with practice it becomes more resonant.

  5. I agree with you Karen. Nice post.

  6. Voice is very, very important. And you're absolutely correct. So is Anne. It comes with practice (maybe with age he he), and is very, very difficult to achieve.
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

  7. Voice isn't something you take a course and viola you have one. It's something you can develop and define more strongly with practice.

    I like your analogy on the way a person talks and their mannerisms, tone, style of expression and comparing it to our writing voice. Good one. :-)


  8. No matter the topic, a book with a strong voice always catches my attention. And it doesn't always have to be 1st person, if an author is able to capture a character's spirit the perspective doesn't matter.

  9. I managed to write my 'resting' WIP in someone else's voice for the first half of the novel, then revert to mine. I did it because I'd just finished reading a novel by the author whose voice I mimicked. Very bad, and very noticeable, and now I'm not sure how to change it.

    So yes, I agree, voice is very important - and your OWN voice, even more so!

  10. Putting personality into one's writing takes effort!

  11. Thanks for posting this. I'm trying to get my book published.