Building a unique, readable, compelling writing voice isn’t magic. It isn’t luck. And it isn’t out of your reach.
Are You Tired Of Trying to Figure Out YOUR Writing Voice?
Contrary to popular myth, Writing Voice is not something you’re born with.
It’s not a mystical gift of the Writing Magi.
It isn’t some secret skill taught only in expensive ivy-covered classrooms.
And contrary to those shall-not-be-named-here writing snobs (but you know some, and I know some) who insist that “having a writing voice” requires a writing style that is high-falutin’ deadly-dull polysyllabic boring, OR in which the writer bestructures word usements unEnglishly, befreshening lingualism incomprehensiblax…
(Yeah, you’ve started into those books, and so have I.
I haven’t finished one yet—because life is too damn short.
How ’bout you?)
Have you noticed that writing snobs never have a clear-cut definition for writing voice, or writing style… but they insist they know it when they see it?
THAT is the ultimate cop-out.
HINT: When “experts” (yes, thank you, I am being snarky in air-quoting that word) have absolutely no objective standards for evaluating a tangible, identifiable element of fiction—like the quality of the voice of any given writer—when, in other words, they’re just making shit up as they go AND talking out their asses…
Then you can have a helluva lot of fun pinning them down to listing those standards they don’t have. You say, “Define for me, O Mighty Expert on Writing… exactly and precisely what elements create Writing Voice?”
And when they roll their eyes and note that they are the expert, and tell you, “I know it when I see it”, you get to say, Bullshit, Professor Snerdbucket.
Here’s what writing voice is.
Your writing voice is YOU… when you are:
- being someone else,
- existing somewhere else,
- doing things you have never done,
- and perhaps that no human being has ever done,
- but knowing as you do these things in your mind and write them on your page, that they are right… and true…
- So that when your reader reads your story, your reader lives inside your world, believes in what you’ve made, and knows that what you have created must be real somewhere… because what you have created now lives forever inside your reader’s soul.
Yep. That’s voice. And yes… you CAN do that.
And as you are doing these things in your mind, as you are living inside your world, you are expressing the people you meet and the places you go and the actions that occur on your page in a way that is right and true to THAT story, to THOSE characters, to THAT world, and in words that are natural to YOU.
You are creating YOUR UNIQUE voice.
Your writing voice is YOU, bringing these characters and places and situations to life in a way that only you can, and making the people who have never lived and places that have never been breathe for readers down through the ages, the way Chaucer and Shakespeare and Twain and Christie and Pratchett do…
…All of them writing clearly and comprehensibly in the words of their times, without affectation or phoniness, just with simple skill and clarity and beauty…
…So that with their words they can still put you right into the worlds they invented that were their fictional takes on the worlds they inhabited…
…And they can grab you by the heart and soul and make you believe, and make you laugh, and make you weep.
Those writers are still alive today…
they breathe on inside their words and their stories.
They mastered the superpower of being true to their own voices. And when you read what they have written, the stories they tell freakin’ burn themselves inside your soul for the rest of your life.
And your writing voice comes from writing. A lot. But you won’t build your voice with just random writing.
Finding and then developing your voice requires focused, specific kinds of writing that teach you how to slip from character to character, from situation to situation, and from story to story, shaping the unique personalities, backgrounds, world details, and more while crafting the unique approaches your stories require.
You need to do it quickly, lightly, to capture the essence of the thing, and then move on, over, and over, and over.
It’s fun practice, but it needs to be focused, directed, consistent, and regular, and it needs to make sure that in every exercise, and every time you practice, you are focusing on every single element that has to be there.
Everyone has a writing voice—
from the very beginning.
- Some writers’ voices are pretty good out of the gate.
- Some writers’ voices are bad simply because the writer is inexperienced—this is innocent error.
- Some writers’ voices suck because the writer mistakes (or has been taught) pretentiousness, phoniness, and incomprehensibility as a style. Without an objective standard on what constitutes good writing, these voices are just going to get worse with time.
All writing voices are improvable.
All broken writing voices are fixable.
You can learn to write clearly and entertainingly and still having everything you write be recognizably yours (without using a bunch of stupid tricks and gimmicks).
Writing Voice is a learnable skill.
And YOU can learn it.
Find Your Writing Voice
In this Intensive Writing Workshop, you’ll do a minimum of twenty-four hours of actual writing, using short, timed exercises designed to teach you to slip effortlessly into the minds of characters unlike you, into their worlds, into situations they’re facing… and to bring them to life… and then to move on to the next.
I’ve designed the workshop exercises to first teach you how to develop your voice, and then to make voice exercises a regular part of your writing practice, like warmup exercises for musicians, or stretches for athletes.
So you’ll have permanent access to the workshop classroom, class materials, and private workshop forum, where you can ask for help, post exercises, and get work done.
This workshop is self-paced—you can do as much or as little as you want each time you use it. Be done in ten minutes, or work for an hour at a time.
For extra incentive, write your exercises straight to the forum, joining other writers who are doing the same.
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Writing Class Course Creator