Thursday, November 12, 2009

Finding Your Voice

“Voice and point of view are closely intertwined; therefore, it’s the hardest thing to teach. What I mainly do is say, ‘Don’t worry about it. Don’t look for your voice; just say things as clearly and as vividly as you can say them, and that will be your voice.’ -- Janet Burroway in “Building from ideas, details and honesty.” [The Writer, December 2009]

Shortly after I started writing for real, I learned that attempting to create a voice doesn’t work for me. If I don’t own the voice, I can’t maintain it.

Now I realize the easiest way to find a character’s voice (and mine) is to write the story and let the voice develop on its own. It’s not uncommon for me to go back and rework early sections of story because a character’s voiced changes by the end of the first draft. Neither is it uncommon for me to go back and change the point of view for a story after finishing the first draft.

I agree. Write the story clearly and honestly, and the correct point of view and voice will develop by the end.

1 comment:

Alyssa Ast said...

That is a very good tip. I find if I write in another voice and I am actually able to make it work, when I re-read it I do not feel like myself, or that I was not actually the one who wrote it. It leaves me feeling unsatisfied.