Friday, August 27, 2010

Voice, Voice, Voice...

Voice. For any writers out there (which I believe I can safely assume is everyone reading this), this word probably haunts you. In your sleep. On your computer. In your head.

So, what is voice??? Well, it's the fancy little noise that comes out of our mouth when you and I talk...duh!

Well, yeah. But, to agents, editors, and everyone else in the book business, it's SO much more than that.

I've been reading A LOT about voice lately, and I've come to find it's not really something you can just master. It's something you yourself have to grow and develop, blossom and create. And while it might not always be easy, it certainly pays off in the end.

A good way to tell if particular authors have good voice in their work is by simply reading something random and attempting to figure out who the author is. If you can guess the author right off the bat, chances are it's because you're familiar with the voice they use in their work. If you can't tell who the author is, (granted, this experiment only works if you've read multiple novels by a single author, so you come to know their voice), chances are the voice of their character, of their manuscript, of them as an author, didn't come through.

There's no need to worry, though. If you're just starting, have been writing for years and years, or are even in the middle, it's okay if your voice doesn't come through right away.

You're probably asking yourself, "Well, how in the world do I know if the voice in my manuscript is coming through?" While there's not really a hard and fast answer to this question, you can most definitely find out by joining critique groups, sending out queries (if your work is done, of course), and perhaps venturing to writers' conferences and meeting agents and editors. If you're able to pitch your work to them, they may give you advice on your voice.

So, that's my little lesson for today, though I'm sure all of you already knew all about voice. :) Now, onto the random stuff............

I started reading MOCKINGJAY!!! It's fantastic, and barreling toward what I'm sure will be a spectacular finale to THE HUNGER GAMES! (I'll do a post about the entire trilogy once I finish it. And, because I'm opposed to spoilers, it'll be a completely SPOILER-FREE post.) =]

Hmmm. What else? Ah, yes. I'm still reading THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (though MOCKINGJAY kinda shoved it aside for a little bit). And it's still totally captivating, and amazing, and stunning, and glorious...

And yep, still querying. Still researching agents, still reading blogs, still doing what I love to do, which of course is WRITE! :)

So, that ends my post for today. Let me think of a clever question to end with (I love reading all of the answers and responses from you guys!)...

Oh, I got it. (Warning: this question has NOTHING to do with writing.) Are any of you guys tired with this whole "3D era" we're going through? Honestly, it seems like EVERY. SINGLE. MOVIE that's come out in the past or is coming out has been in 3D.

Leave your thoughts below!


  1. I'm still trying to find my "voice" myself. I just finished "Mockingjay". Wow. I'm also reading Girl With a Dragon Tatoo, but have a couple of long wait list books out from the library that I have to finish.

    As for 3D movies. I'm not into them. I think something is wrong with my eye-sight or perception becuase they just don't do anything for me except cost more $ and force me to wear weird glasses.

  2. Great thoughts on voice. Though I think that many authors, even though they have a clear voice, it isn't instantly distinct. It is only in the small details and delivery that their true personality is coming through. Then you have authors like Douglas Addams and it is quite clear who the author is.

  3. Miles, what a great post! Like all your posts. I'm awarding you the Versatile Blogger and One Lovely Blog awards! Go to my page if you want to see them/forward them (not mandatory, only if you want to/have the time).

    Tessa :)

  4. EXACTLY!!!

    You can't MAKE voice, voice is something that comes from you as a writer. My OA blog post next week is on this exact subject.

    I've seen too many authors try and write a voice. It just doesn't work that way.