Finding My Voice By Looking Around

Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint what makes you unique, especially when it comes to writing. Chances are your stories will have elements of others that have been written before because all stories are really about the human condition; and that’s the one thing we all share.

What keeps us inspired and keeps us reading is an author’s individual voice.

And that’s one thing none of us share.

Like a comedian you can impersonate someone else’s writing but if it isn’t coming straight from your own gut it will end coming across hollow and meaningless. Why would you want to anyway? What you have to say is just as important and the way you view the world, or world’s you create, cannot be created by anyone else.

I’ve been wondering what my voice sounded like so I checked in with my old pal Google to see what was out there in the world for a new author in search of her own octave.

I found a website called the Write Practice which suggested the place to start was to develop your sight first. In order to discover your voice you need to figure out how you see things. It talked about practicing by thinking about your moral worldview, doing some people watching and checking out your surroundings.

I’m usually more comfortable making the hero’s of my stories. I’m fond of characters with an innate sense of justice and who are good, diamond in the rough types. So I will challenge myself on the moral worldview topic and try to figure out what I despise, what I truly detest in a person so when I get around to fleshing out my villain I will be prepared.

As far as people watching goes…I’m kind of a sucker for it. I live in a cul de sac and watch the people in the neighborhood all the time. Now I will put one of those stories (or maybe more) down on paper and see what happens!

I’m always looking around but I’m drawn mostly to the ponds and lakes of my city. When writing settings, I struggle with describing something so it paints the picture I want without boring my reader to death. There have been times I’ve been yawning myself by the time I was done describing a sweeping landscape.

I’m not starting from complete scratch though because I have noticed some things about my writing voice. My favorite pieces are usually slightly sarcastic; maybe a bit of witty, self-deprecating inner monologue. These are the most like me in real life and I think the dose does my stories good.

I’m all about the happy ending. I’m constantly fighting myself over the end of a particular WIP.  My original plan was a bittersweet end, which I’m still going forward with but secretly all I want to do is make everyone and everything all peaches and cream by the final page. I know it will be better the way I’m going to write it but it’s a battle none the less.

Bringing yourself to the table is what matters most I think because without you…where would your story be?

Let me know what you’ve learned about your own voice in the comments below!


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