An author’s voice is the most important tool in their arsenal.
One important aspect of writing you’ll always see me trumpet is VOICE.
Voice is a resource readily available to you because you use it everyday. In the verbal conversations you have with friends, inner monologues of your day-to-day, even when sending text messages, you access the one thing you should use and use often.
But what is voice in writing? Well, I believe you showcase your voice through your writing style in the following four ways:
- Style choices- such as use of punctuation, sentence choices, etc.
- Word choices
- Communication of your message and beliefs- in other words, your effectiveness in getting your readers to understand your point.
Together, these components make up what readers will understand as the author’s voice. Each of these contributes in a unique way to tailor your final product for the audience you hope to reach.
So, how do you define your writing voice?
I’m glad you asked.
Here are a few tips to determine your writing voice:
1. Think about how you tell stories
Imagine the paper you write on is a very dear friend. How would you share a story with them? Thinking through this (or even doing it) will help you find your unique voice.
2. Use words already available in your arsenal
The words you already have in your word repertoire are your best tools to use. It is okay to include words you don’t often use from time to time, but doing so often may cause your writing to lose the meaning you hope it will convey, to sound less like your, or worse: Your readers may be turned off by the complexity of the words chosen.
3. Pay attention to the punctuation and sentence styles you use
Punctuation and sentence style is unique to every author and contributes to communicating your writing voice. Pay attention to how you strategically place words together to form sentences.
4. BE YOURSELF AUTHENTICALLY
Perhaps most important of all, be yourself in your writing. There are many great writers out there. Great. Good for them. However, you are YOU. And your readers will connect with the authentic author you, not the author you that you try to be.