Why do you write what you write? And why do you choose to write it in that way?
Your distinct blend of traits, peculiarities, attitudes, beliefs, experiences, emotions and aspirations determines what you write. And more importantly, how you write it – the tone, length of sentences and paragraphs, the words you choose, their arrangement, the images you evoke, your descriptions of textures, sounds and emotions. These are elements your readers can point at and say, “I know who wrote this.”
That’s your voice, your brand. It tells your readers that you are you…not a robot, not just another author, but a storyteller with a personality.
How to Find your Unique Writing Voice:
- Know Thyself.
Describe yourself in a bunch of adjectives. Then, go through your entire writing collection. Look for consistencies in themes, vocabulary, punctuation, moods, tone of voice, figures of speech, cultural references and imagery. Observe these things in your spoken conversations too. Do the same with your favourite books and authors. What do they have in common? What about each of them appeals to you? It all reflects your own personality as a writer.
- Explore Genres.
You may think that a certain element is a part of your voice. But it may only be particular to the genre you write in, since you’re likely to use tones and style most associated with it. If you write about romance, experiment with sci-fi or mystery. The consistencies in your work across different genres point out to your voice.
- Get Quirky.
To let your unique voice emerge, embrace what that makes you an individual. And that means letting your weirdness shine through. Does your inner editor often tell you that your thoughts are “odd” or that you should stick to rules all the time? It’s time to loosen up. Your quirkiness can make your writing fun, interesting and distinct. Unleash it, and you’ll find a voice to tell your stories in ways that no one else can.
- Write Like You Talk.
Several successful authors write in a conversational manner; it makes readers feel as though they’re just across a coffee table. Amateur authors tend to throw on a “hat” when they write – using words, sentence structures and tones of voice they wouldn’t normally use in ordinary conversation. The voice you talk in is already unique to you. You have your own lingo, gestures, most-used phrases and so on. Use it!
- Write Sincerely and Passionately.
Your unique voice originates from a place of authenticity. Plunge into the deepest corners of your heart and mind. Let your emotions flood onto your papers…raw, real and unconstrained. Describe the things, people, animals and places that move, inspire, disturb, enrage and captivate you. When you write from a space of such honesty, you’ll write in a voice that’s truly you.
- Write Freely.
To find your inner voice, shut off what hinders its freedom – your inner editor…well, just for a while. Choose a prompt, set a time limit of about ten minutes and begin scribbling your thoughts down. Don’t pay heed to grammar, theme or style. Afterwards, you can observe your most natural way of expressing yourself. The more you free write, the more patterns you’ll find. Put it all together, and you’ll have the elements that make up your voice.
When you set out to discover your unique voice, persist but be patient too. There are themes to uncover, clues to gather…and there’s a whole lot of nurturing to do. Keep exploring and let the words flow; your unique writing voice will blossom!