Five-and-a-half years ago, I had my first ever critique by an editor at my first ever writing conference. I went into the meeting with so much hope, and came out devastated.
While the editor was very nice, he basically told me that my writing stunk (my own word), and I needed to keep practicing. The only bit he liked was the part I was considering cutting, and he said it sounded like I just hadn’t found my voice yet.
I haven’t touched that book since.
Anyway, that was the first I’d heard of “voice.” What in the heck is voice? I wondered.
According to About.com “voice is the author’s style , the quality that makes his or her writing unique, and which conveys the author’s attitude, personality, and character.”
At Kim’s Corner for Teacher Talk she says: “voice shows the writer’s personality. . . . It contains feelings and emotions so that it does not sound like an encyclopedia article.”
But see, while good definitions, none of this really helped me “find my voice.” I do think that I’ve learned a bit in the past five years, and so here are some things that I think helped me:
I admit, I’m no expert on voice, but hopefully this is a little helpful. And I’d love to hear your thoughts . . . How did you find your voice?