A Nine-Step Framework to Find Your Writing Voice
Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. The words we write lie the beauty of creating such an unforgettable experience. Have you ever read something and felt instantly connected to the way the story was explained? Have you ever read something and felt resonated with the tone maintained? Have you ever read something and experienced a deep level of comfort within the words? That’s the beauty of having a writing voice – To connect people through the words we write!! Let’s get started to find your writing voice.
What is a ‘writing voice’?
Defining writing voice is hard because it is subjective. For a few, it could be tone, the words are chosen, the way of writing, the perspective, and the writing style. For a few, it could be none of the above. For me, writing voice is an expression of my true self. This voice carries my experiences, my beliefs, my perspective, and a part of me.
Whatever your writing voice is, this article will help you find it. With a little effort of yours, this will assist you to find your writing voice. While the definition of writing voice is subjective, we are here to throw a little light on a topic that could be considered a part of writing voice.
|1||Choice of words||The kind of words we choose plays an important role in deciding the kind of writing voice we possess. The words could vary from classic literary to layman understandable.|
|2||Syntax||The way the chosen words are put into phrases and sentences speaks a lot about the way we are developing our writing voice. The syntax of the sentences could be both long and complex or simple and concise. The choice depends on the voice you develop.|
|3||Punctuation||The usage of punctuation in our writing affects the writing voice subtly. Sometimes it makes the writing easy to read through at times it might turn it into classical literature.|
|4||Tone||Personally, I believe tone plays a key role in deciding the writing voice. Depending on the tone, the same copy could sound like academic writing to a comedy script. The tone also includes the right combination of dialogues and narrations.|
|5||Person||The combination of the first-person, second-person, and third-person would add to the writing voice. This sometimes also helps you provide a perspective as a person involved in the situation or as a third person.|
|6||Visuals||Adding up images, gifs and memes has become a new normal. The inclusion of these makes the write-up more interactive and explanatory. You could experiment with your writing style with these visuals.|
|7||Characters||Building characters play a crucial role in building up your writing voice. The characters could be shaped as per your personality and imagination.|
Why Should You Have a Writing Voice?
With the world becoming digital, content has become key to every step forward. A writer could write any form of content but what makes him stand out among every other writer is his writing voice. Let us understand the perks of having a writing voice of your own.
To Create Authentic Writings: While a zillion writers are pushing their content out to the digital world every day, audiences are drawn toward authenticity. Finding your writing voice adds authenticity to your articles.
Connection With Audiences: With so much content available everywhere, readers are looking for something beyond description and narration. Readers are looking for a kind of emotional connection (or a kind of resonance that would call for action in the case of B2B or B2C).
Self-contentment: It might take time to find your writing voice, but once you know yours there would be no looking back. You will find joy in writing and crave to write every day. It brings you a sense of fulfillment in every word you write. Your words help you find a way to your reader’s heart.
Create your Own Identity: Your writing voice brings you an identity. People recognize you not just for your writing but for how you make them feel with your words. It helps you build trust with your readers and increases reliability. With a writing voice of your own, you gradually become a brand of yourself. With the world craving a personal touch in everything, an effort to find your writing voice will take you a long way on the path to success.
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Nine Easy-to-follow Steps to Find Your Writing Voice
1. Read, Read, Read and Read:
Reading is one of the best ways to get introduced to writing styles. Read a lot. Read the classics that speak literature in every word written, read the short stories that speak of experiences, read autobiographies that portray personal journeys, and read everything and every genre. Reading exposes you to various kinds of writing styles and voices.
2. Clear Observation:
As we read various genres by a range of authors, we get a clear exposure to different kinds of writing styles and voices. At this point observe and understand which kind of voices interest you. Understand the styles that you feel drawn towards. Understand the syntax and tone that inspire and fill your hearts. Maintain a keen eye for observation as you read and watch.
3. Be self-aware:
While reading and observing, expose you to various styles of writing voices, being self-aware plays a key role in understanding your one writing voice. Pay attention to what kind of writing styles and voices you feel inspired to read more. Writing voice is unique to every individual but reading and observation help you get a rough idea about your interests.
After obtaining the rough inputs on the types of voices, styles, and observations that you think inspire you – start writing. Don’t aim for perfection. Don’t aim to find your writing voice instantly. Finding your writing voice takes time and it varies from individual to individual. Don’t get influenced. So, just practice free-writing. Write anything and everything that makes you content. Don’t try to imitate or replicate anyone. Write with your heart.
Once you have a few copies of your free writing, introspect. Analyze each of the copies for similar writing voices. Analyze familiarity in the pattern of writing. Analyze your basic writing style and voice.
6. Learn from Constructive Feedback:
Share the copies of the free writing with people around. Let them describe the writing style. This helps you become aware of the subtle patterns you inherited in your writing voice. It’s not mandatory to take feedback and learn from it. But, it is mandatory to listen and introspect based on the feedback provided.
7. Try Various Styles of Writing:
After you find your writing voice, don’t end your search. Writing voice is unique and personal. Yet, a single person doesn’t need to have only one writing voice. Practice free-writing and get self-aware of all the writing voices you could use. Try various styles of writing rather than sticking to one. If you realize that you have only one writing voice, couldn’t ask for more – that too is awesome.
8. Know Your Audiences:
After identifying your writing voice, it’s important to know your audience every time you write a copy. Knowing your audiences will help you choose the appropriate writing style and aid in connecting with audiences.
9. Write Every Day:
Finding your voice takes time. As said, finding your writing voice takes time. Even after you invent your voice it is mandatory to practice writing to excel at it and make it your forte.
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Bonus Tip Find Your Writing Voice
While trying to find your writing voice, do ask yourself a few questions. The questions would help you become self-aware and expedite the process of finding your writing voice.
- Ask yourself what kind of writing styles do you get drawn to?
- Ask yourself, if you would fancy writing the kind of voices you fancy reading?
- Ask yourself, why and what do you feel comfortable writing about?
- Ask yourself what you want your readers to think and feel about your writing style?
What Not to do While Trying to Find Your Writing Voice?
Sometimes having a not-to-do list is more beneficial than having a to-do list. Isn’t it? Here are a few don’t-do activities that are worth following while trying to work on your writing voice.
1. Stop Trying to Write from Someone’s Shoes
At times, we get influenced by others’ writing so deeply that we subtly put ourselves in their shoes and continue to think and write as they do. In this process, we lose our authenticity. This makes our readers feel a disconnect as it’s with you the readers are eager to engage. By trying to write from someone’s shoes, you are losing your authenticity. Yet, it is encouraged to be in others’ shoes for a different perspective but not to replicate their thoughts.
2. Stop Writing to Impress
While you write, always ask yourself why you are writing? You could write for any given reason but it’s not advised to write just to impress. Containing this thought process while you write doesn’t help you find your writing voice. Moreover, it puts additional pressure and spoils your authentic write-up. Don’t write to prove a point about yourself. Enjoy while you write every word.
3. Stop Correcting Yourself
While you write, just go with the flow of thoughts. Don’t stop editing for grammar. Don’t stop checking the punctuations. Don’t stop to check the perfection. Just write, pouring in all your thoughts. Disable the spell check while penning down your thoughts. Edit, correct, and proofread only after all the thoughts are penned down completely.
4. Stop Looking for Perfection
While you write, it’s okay to not have the copy as you expected. Don’t stop writing or keep editing the same to obtain perfection. Practice, consistent writing, and free-writing will help you sharpen your writing voice.
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Books That Could Help You Find Your Voice
1. Finding Your Writer’s Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction by Thaisa Frank and Dorothy Wall
GoodReads review could be restated as locating your writer’s voice is an illuminating manual to discover one’s maximum powerful writing device. Finding Your writer’s Voice enables writers to recognize how to listen to the voices that might be unique to them. the book includes chapters on:
– getting access to your raw voice
– paying attention to voices of childhood, private and public voices, and colloquial voices
– Working and discovering the narrative persona
– Shaping one’s voice into an interesting read
– Reigniting the energy of voice
2. Finding Your Voice: How To Put Personality In Your Writing by Les Edgerton
The writers who recognize and practice their unique and distinctive voice are those who succeed, this voice sets them apart from the crowd. This book aids the writers to find that voice and thereby improving their chances of getting noticed by using editors and getting published. This book is told to have many examples, passages, and references that assist you to find your author’s voice.
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3. Writing Voice: The Complete Guide to Creating a Presence on the Page and Engaging Readers (Creative Writing Essentials) by Writer’s Digest books
GoodReads review this book stating that writers carry a unique set of abilities: One author might create a super character, at the same time as another might dazzle with communicating. You don’t ought to grasp every issue of the craft to be successful, but the one first-class required of every writer is a compelling, unique voice.
Your voice, which is regularly tough to define and even greater tough to grasp, can rework your writing from pedestrian to effective. In Writing Voice, you will discover effective instruction and advice from high-quality-promoting authors and teachers like Donal Maass, Adair Lara, Paula Munier, Dinty W. Moore, James Scott Bell, and many others, plus sports, techniques, and examples for making your prose stand out, be it fiction or memoir.
You’ll discover ways to explore the unique way you write by looking at the unique varieties of writers to create your very own voice, recognize the nuances of voice, consisting of the importance of phrase preference, and expand the right voice for your genre.
Craft great narration on the way to hold readers coming back, choose the proper voice on your nonfiction, and build the voice that fits your fashion. The books provide you with several perceptions and enter to locate your writer’s voice. But, it’s your consistent writing and exercise that allows you genuinely locate your writer’s voice. keep practicing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Is it mandatory to have a writing voice?
No. A writer doesn’t need to have a writing voice. But, it’s a way to increase your authenticity, connect with your readers and allow them to connect with the writer.
Q2. Is it possible to have more than one writer’s voice?
Yes. I believe an individual could have more than one writer’s voice. The usage of the accurate writer’s voice depends on the target audience.
Q3. Is it okay not to have a writer’s voice?
It’s okay not to have a writer’s voice or if you are still trying to find one. It’s okay to take time.
Q4. How long does it take to identify one’s writing voice?
It depends on the individual on how long it takes to identify the writing voice. But, it is consistency and practice to make your writing voice your forte.
Q5. Name a few references to the writer’s voice?
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. His style of writing could be referred to as a dry tongue-in-cheek theory of sarcasm. The malgudi days written by R.K.Narayan have a fancy narrative with imaginary characters that depict the Indian culture and Indian ways of living in an imaginary town.
David Foster Wallace said, “If you spend enough time reading or writing, you find a voice, but you also find certain tastes. You find certain writers who when they write, it makes your brain voice like a tuning fork, and you just resonate with them”. Though the writing voice is unique, it does resonate with other writers’ writing voices. It does resonate with the reader’s brain voice. And, this makes a difference – When it’s the writer’s true writing voice that is speaking the readers connect deeply with the writer, not just the words. Of all, I believe it’s the beauty of connecting with humans that makes writing voice essential. Writing voice cannot be developed overnight, it needs introspection, consistency, and practice.