No matter what you write, what keeps the reader engaged is your voice. The reader wants to think that they are seated across from you, listening to you. They want to hear you clearly and they want to connect with you and it is your voice that makes that connection possible, drawing them into your world and compelling them to pay attention to your topic, to follow your characters, or to stay with your train of thought.
So, how do you make your voice compelling? It should be natural, an extension of who and what you are. It’s as simple as that. But how do you find your voice in writing? Most aspiring authors tend to imitate their favorite author’s voice and this can make their writing come across as forced, their voice discordant and shallow. Your writing will be more digestible and your thoughts clearer if you find your voice and use it with confidence. But how do you find your unique voice? Below are 6 useful tips.
You Just Have to Write
Yes, you’ll find your voice by writing more. You become good at anything by constantly doing it. A guitarist virtuoso becomes what he is by constantly practicing. So, you have to write constantly and more. The more you write, the more your voice becomes clearer. You won’t get better without practicing, so write more.
Let others see your work
You can’t be your own judge. Get feedback from others. Allow others to read your work and let you know how it affects them.You want to find out if your voice sounds clear and compelling enough to keep them interested in what you have to say. It is best to have people who are experts to read your work. You can also get invaluable feedback from writing groups. But having your work seen by an editor with experience in your genre is most preferable. It is common for writers to seek out family members and friends to share their work with, but this category of people won’t give you the hard advice that a professional will give you.
Good Writers Are Avid Readers
It would be a sheer contraction to want to get people interested in reading your work when you don’t have the interest in reading someone else’s. The best authors are the most avid readers. But why do you want to read a lot? You read because you want to understand why an author’s voice keeps you hooked. You want to know what it is that makes it hard to put a piece of writing down. You get familiar with the different styles of writing and hear echoes of your voice in the authors that mesmerize you with their writing. As you read others you unconsciously or consciously begin to hear your own voice even clearer. Read because you are eager to learn. Read because you want to understand how others do it. And read for the sheer joy of it.
Explore Different Styles
Whether you’re writing a story or a nonfiction book, there are a thousand ways to go about it. Allow your idea to touch you in different ways. Explore the different perspectives and find that which best suits your voice. For instance, when writing a story, you want to explore the different narrative forms. Do you feel most comfortable writing in the first person narrative? Does the POV become easier to handle when using the third person narrative for you? By exploring the different styles, you’ll easily find one that reflects your voice and that carries your message with more confidence and authenticity.
Know Your Audience and Write for Them
They know when you’re honest and they can tell when you get irrelevant. If you write a novel for teens in a tone that addresses adult readers, it won’t appeal to them. You want to know who your audience is and what they are looking for. This means that you want to become part of their world, so explore their world, research on how they speak, on the language they use, and what makes them come alive. You’ll stay relevant if you understand your audience and what interests them.
While you may want to write like Hemingway or your most favorite author, you can’t become those writers. Impersonification is the worst thing that could happen to a writer. You lose your voice when you try to imitate another writer’s and readers are intelligent enough to feel the discordant chords. Write from your world. Write from your perspective. Write from the way inspiration comes to you. When you learn to listen to yourself and to translate your voice in writing, it becomes authentic and powerful.
Readers are always looking for unique voices to read and yours only stays unique when it reflects your world and your humanity.