Writing teachers often say that finding your own unique voice is the most important thing to do as a writer. But what are you to do when you struggle to find your voice: Mimic authors you admire or write like the author you are reading at the moment?
The thing is, when people speak of voice in writing circles, they don’t often talk about what it is. It’s pretty simple, really. It is the voice you hear in your head.
Some people hate to perform. I tell them that, while being able to present your work in public is great for building your platform, a lot of performance is actually for your own benefit, to improve the writing in the first place…it seems to make them feel better. In that spirit, I have put together a list of nine things you might learn about your writing when you make that dark walk to the stage.
“See, I need to describe what happens in a scene where Character A isn’t there but Character B is, so — we’ll just tell it from Character B’s POV….”
“I want the reader to know what Character B is thinking so I’m going to slip into his/her POV real quick in the middle of a scene told from Character A’s POV…”
“My narrator is omniscient so, even though 95% of it is told from the Character A’s POV, that’s my justification for having 5% from the POV of Character B…”
POVs should cost good money. Something that will act as a deterrent so that you really almost practically never switch POVs. Because, here’s the thing: each time we switch into another POV, we not only need another character to support that perspective — we need another world to imbue it. And that is no easy task.
Many writers are familiar with William Faulkner’s words, “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” But what if you’re not always ready to bring your knife to the page? How can you learn to objectively edit my work?
Well, first of all, no one’s talking about killing, or slashing here. Maybe cutting…revision does mean cutting. It’s one of those funny things about revision, you know? Revision is a process by which things get combined, get shortened or get expanded. It is also a process by which certain things get left out.