History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Finding a Writing Voice

Whether you’re just starting out or an established author, you’ve probably got a writing voice. You may not have found it entirely when you’ve first started, and you can be equally unaware of what your voice is if you’ve been writing for a while. But when you read a snippet of a story and you immediately can identify who wrote it, that’s voice.

Your voice might be sparse or wordy, white room or descriptive, or any other variety of adjectives on a spectrum. And some authors use a variety of voices over the course of their career. For me, switching a story from first person to third person (or vice versa) can make the story “sound” a lot different. I’ve also got a different voice depending on if I’m writing something for kids or teens versus when I’m writing for adults (though some of the whimsy and excitement from my stories for younger readers still comes through in my writing for adults). Voice can also depend on genre–if I’m writing horror, for example, that’s going to use a different voice than a light and fluffy fantasy story. But there will still be “tells” that lurk amongst the prose, and the more I write, the more some of those tells become apparent to me and my readers.

My best advice for finding your writing voice is to write a lot. You might have a distinctive voice after just a few short stories. But voice is something that I think is continually evolving for me, so the more words I write, the better it gets!

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