Friday, January 7, 2011

CRAFT: Voice

As I considered what to write today for the topic of VOICE, I clicked back through some old blog posts, and decided that I'd simply repost one from several months ago. Why? Because voice is a hard concept to explain, and if you really want to learn what it is - - you need to read... a lot.

How then do you gain your own VOICE? Really get into the head of your characters. Know them. Create conflict. Edit until you're blue in the face. Practice.

Here's the repost on VOICE:

Many writers discuss the topic of "voice." Many agents say they will only sign a writer with a strong "voice."

What is "voice" and how do you get it? Well, the answer to that is quite vague, and you could spend days blog hopping and researching to find a "maybe" kind of answer. However, after reading one issue of Glimmer Train from cover to cover, I understand much better what "voice" is. And, I think I'll start reading the next issue right away, because I've learned more about voice from this one issue than I have from any other form of reading or research I've done on the topic.

While I was impressed, confused, and moved by the first story in the issue, I was even more influenced as I went from one story to the next. The stories in this issue each have an obvious and distinct voice. It's been a great lesson to read one story and immediately go into the next story and see, read, feel, the distinct change in voice. Amazingly, Glimmer Train provides not only a great demonstration of voice, but it also gives examples of impressive language, word choices and sentences, which leaves the reader considering the images long after setting the story down.

If you want to read great stories, buy a copy. If you want to improve your writing craft, buy a copy. :)

Do you have an example of an author with strong voice? Share!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the heads up Margo, it sounds like a useful read. Yes Voice is a hard one to explain. Also different genres seem to require different voices, so finding the right genre to fit your style of writing/voice is important and that's why on my blog I've been experimenting with various styles. :O)