Tips for finding your writing “Voice”

What is writing voice? what you can do to help speed up the process?

Welcome back to my writing tips blog. This post defines what “voice” is all about and points to a few helpful tips.  Although Voice is something that develops gradually for each writer– there are things that you can do to make your “voice’ more clearly heard, and helps you stand out as a writer.

Voice is the way you tell a story and the sum of all the choices you make to do it. This goes for both formal and informal.  A combination of language and ideas, words, paragraphs, rhythm and tone.  Your voice is unique.  If you study the authors that you enjoy reading, then you will see that they have a unique voice.  At first, this is hard, but once you’ve been writing awhile it gets easier and comes more naturally.  Advice from my fiction instructors told me not to try and imitate another writer…at least not too much.

Insights and attitudes add to a writer’s voice, especially if you are blog posting. Adding your ideas will give more authority to your writing. Margaret Lucke author of Writing great short Stories refers to voice as to how “artful” the story is told.  She says that a writer’s best tools are curiosity and a love of language.  She writes a lot of good books on writing.

In my experience, most teachers of writing caution the use of the passive voice in both professional and fiction writing.  Passive voice makes the writing sound ambiguous.  See the following examples:

It was decided that the proposed policy would be adopted (passive voice).

The board of directors decided to adopt the proposed policy(active voice).

Much professional everyday writing can seem passive, they often sidestep important issues or provide a mask of anonymity.  There are copywriters to simplify the process.  On the other hand, fiction requires much more boldness and daring language.

Something that is often overlooked for writers, is the use of adjectives and adverbs.  They are often over-used making the writing seem dull.  One of my writing mentors Clare Lynch teaches that verbs do all the heavy lifting.  It makes the job easier for the reader. I guess the point is that verbs are more persuasive than a bunch of adverbs and adjectives. Clare Lynch has a great website called  She has been a great source of inspiration for me.

Remember that words are your tools, so use them carefully.

Spend some time finding your writing voice.  It helps to imagine your ideal reader, and write only to him.  See more at  What worldview or culture does your reader see?

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