by Rachel Hauck
Everyone who writes has a voice. It's how we form our thoughts into sentences and paragraphs. How we express ourselves.
The bigger question is do you have a voice that is compelling, engaging, and one that can tell a story? Anyone can be taught to write. A person can learn the elements of craft and novel writing. But the story telling voice is another matter. I think that is born-in and can't be taught.
It's like math. I can be taught math. I can understand and "do" math. But math is not gifted to me. I don't enjoy it. I don't think math. I don't want to do numbers all day. I do want to spend my day with words! And images. And story.
Some writers have a natural voice that lives on the surface. Others have to work hard and dig for it, knock the coal off the diamond in the rough. If a writer is willing to work hard, they can find their own voice.
But a story teller's voice can't be taught. You either have it or you don't. I think most if not all of us on this loop have some kind of voice or we'd not be here.
I also think some writers have a voice that transcends. They become the break out authors. Some authors do well writing to formula category. They have a more generic voice, but a voice nonetheless. A good one.
Voice can be fine tuned. Just like the natural voice can be trained, our writing voices can be trained. We learn our strengths and weaknesses. We learn our own "sound." Like, I wish I was the Celine Dion of fiction, but I'm more like a raspy lounge singer. :)
Work on your voice by writing, blogging, getting the ping in your gut when you hit your stride. "That's me! My writers voice!"
You may start out mimicking others, copying the voice and style of your favorite authors, but learn to hear your own way of stringing a story together. Because who would you rather hear: Rich Little impersonating Johnny Carson, or Johnny Carson?
Thank you, Rachel!