Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Have I Found My Voice?

No doubt the most common answer to this would be: it's like asking if you have been in love. If you have, you know it, and if you haven't, it's highly unlikely you would know what it really feels like.

I hope there is a better answer out there about writer's voice. I have wondered about this before, and I wonder about it now because I have thought about it from a different perspective.

There have been moments in my writing when I look at what I have written and I say: it's so me. Until now, I thought that was my voice shining through. Yes, it is. But in those instances, it was when the situation or characters demand a response that I would give. That voice was shining because it was more intune with how I act/speak/think in life.

But what about when I am writing through characters who are nothing like me, or the situations I have never been in? The voice of those characters is not like me. It's true to them, as it should be. But, how do I glimpse whether my writer's voice is in there somewhere?

How do I know? How do I judge? Perhaps, I should just be patient and trust that one day I will just know. Perhaps, I will know...but until then I can't help but wonder if there is a way to know it for sure.

Have you found your writer's voice? How do you define it? How do you know it's there when your characters say or think things you never would?


  1. According to your "in love"-metaphor I would have to deny. Bad news! ... but there are voices - that would mean I'm schizophrenic! Worse news! ;-)

    Seriously speaking: I think for a writer it's a blessing to have more than just once voice in his/her head. More than one means, there is the chance for discussions, problems, love, whatsoever interaction! These voices are your characters! And they are you as well, they are a part from you after all. So, sometimes they may sound just like you, but somtimes they are also sound completely different.

    For me, as long as I have all this voiceS (plural!!!) in my head, I know there is still creativity, who just wants to break free, or better said, wants to be written on paper!

  2. I think that writer's voice is one of those elusive qualities that the more you seek it out, the further away it gets. It's not just the ability to see the world through the eyes of a variety of characters, or to create interesting situations and circumstances, it's the ability to bring it all together in a way that is uniquely your own.

  3. Nofretiri,

    Certainly blessing to have several voices - but I do not mean characters' voices. I mean a writer's voice, which I think C R described best.

    C R,

    You are definitely correct. A unique way to bring it all together. I suppose it would be just good to know what one's unique way is. Perhaps it is something one can only see in hindsight? Like a pattern when you look at the finished book. I don't know. Let's see what I learn in a few months or a few years on this topic.