Last week Scott Rhoades mentioned its importance. Cheryl Klein calls it the soul of the novel. Agents and publishers are looking for fresh ones. But what is this nebulous thing called voice?
Simply put, voice is the individual style of the author. It is what makes her writing unique. It conveys the author's attitude, personality, and character.
Author’s voice is different than finding the voice of your character. Some talk of sitting in a school cafeteria or eavesdropping at the mall in order to discern the voice of a teen. This discussion concerns author’s unique style.
Rachelle Gardner, agent for Books & Such Literary Agency, says voice is “about your originality and having the courage to express it.” Gardner says “your writer’s voice is the expression of YOU on the page.” She goes on to say that, as consumers of stories in books and on screen, we may unwittingly regurgitate characters or stories we’ve heard. Writers must strive to be original. Voice is somehow allowing the uniqueness of ourselves come out on the page. It is that simple. It is that complex.
How does one do that? Voice is not something you can study or learn. It is something you have to find, that develops. It grows and matures with your writing. Most agree that to develop you voice you have to write. And write and write.
I wanted to understand it so I set out to examine voice. It seems the more I examined it, the less I know.