How Do We Develop Our Writer’s Voice?

How Do We Develop Our Writer's Voice?, Renea Guenther, Writing Your Novel, First Drafts, Voice, Style

Every voice is unique.

The words we use, sentence length and structure, pacing and rhythm, tone, our use of description or lack thereof.

You’ll never find two people who talk exactly the same.

We all see the world in a different light, and the way we describe it to others is defined by our background and life experiences.

Nobody else can tell things the way you do.

You already have a voice. You just have to recognize it for what it is.

So, how do you find your voice?

1. Be yourself.

We’ve all heard there are no new ideas, yet publishers and readers want your story to be original.

They’re not talking about ideas that have never been tried before.

They’re talking about a fresh voice.

A new way of telling things that only you can provide.

If you like the idea of being buried alive or having dreams of past lives, use it.

If you love the way a writer uses description, use it as a model for your own stories.

Collect ideas you like and combine them into something new.

There are plenty of things we can learn from others.

It’s how you apply it that makes your voice stand out as unique.

2. Voice trumps grammar.

I’m going to tell you point-blank that if you edit to fit your writing into this neat little box called grammar, your voice will disappear.

Editing is for fixing mistakes, not changing the way you tell things.

For example: It’s been a long-standing debate about the use of conjunctions, such as “and” or “but,” at the beginning of sentences.

But I use them on a regular basis because sometimes the context of what I want to say just doesn’t come across the way I want it to without it.

We’ve also been told never to end a sentence with a preposition, such as “in” or “to,” but I often do this as well.

I use the British spelling of some words instead of American, such as “dialogue” versus “dialog,” because the latter looks funny to me even though it mixes dialects.

These are some of the many things that make my voice unique, and I do edit some of it out if I can come up with a better way of saying things.

But in the end, the context and clarity of the sentence is more important than grammatical correctness.

If you’re doing it on purpose or it’s just the way you think, don’t edit it out.

Let us see how your mind works and recognize you as an individual.

3. Learn what makes your voice unique.

Study your writing and look for common elements specific to you.

Heavy description, lengthy sentences, favorite words, ideas you’re drawn to.

We all have our own tastes in the stories we read.

Focus on what you like and apply to your stories.

Let your readers see you for who you really are.



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Renea strives to help writers develop the focus and skills they need to finish their first novel, offering writers practical writing advice they can apply one step at a time.

She is the author of Conquering Writing Pressures: Living a Balanced Writing Life in a Busy World where she helps writers find the courage to accept life will never be perfect. And if we want our dreams to succeed, we must fight to make them a reality.

She currently lives in St. Joseph, Missouri, with her husband Joe, her three children, and her five lovable furballs.

From a young age, Renea was mad for books and reading, and especially loved Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, which she read in the ninth grade.

She is an avid reader, with her main interests residing in history, mythology, and fantasy, along with some romance and science fiction in her earlier years.

When Renea’s not writing, she enjoys genealogy, role-playing games, and dreams of traveling the world. In a past life, she plucked chickens and milked cows.

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One thought on “How Do We Develop Our Writer’s Voice?

  1. Pingback: The Benefits of Reading Aloud During the Editing Process – Renea Guenther

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