Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Voice

Like many, I am of the opinion that you can’t teach “voice”. You either have it or you don’t. What I do believe, however, is that you can teach a person how to 1) find their voice; and 2) how to enhance it.

Voice, as I’ve said before, is that part of your writing that separates you from other writers. The turn of a phrase, choice of words or witty schizophrenic story twists that are uniquely your own. It’s the part of your writing that identifies you to the reader. I struggled for the longest time with my voice. First, I wanted to write John Jakes/Roberta Gellis multigenerational family sagas. Yeah, I wanted Betsy Sue to marry the grandson of Bobby Joe, you know, the hero from the first book? But alas, that wasn’t me. So who was I? What voice was mine? I love action adventure type books and movies. I’d pick “Transformers” over “While You Were Sleeping” just about any day. So of course – I’ll write romantic suspense. Simple really, don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. Ergo, I launched my second career as the author of romantic suspense novels … NOT! Put on the brakes, hold back those horses, we ain’t going no where on this one. I’m not a romantic suspense writer. But I have stories to tell! The voices in my head tell me this nearly every day. But what? I have a voice (yes, other than the ones in my head), but I didn’t know what it was, and I didn’t have a clue as to how to find it. So I wrote blogs. I commented on blogs. And slowly, something began to emerge, something that was quite unexpected to me. No, not that … but rather that I’m a comedian. I write romantic comedies. I have a voice and it’s funny, just ask me. Writing this blog helped me discover what my voice is, and your feedback through these years, dear readers, has helped it to evolve. Whenever I couldn’t think of a topic to blog about, when I would just go off on some weird tangent, you were there with me. And you laughed.

So it’s simple. To discover what your voice is, write. Even if it’s little doodle type writing, or mindless scribbling. You’ll discover as time goes on that a certain style will begin to emerge …. that is your voice. Not the one in your head .. which we’ll discuss at some other time.

Speaking of that .. Friday is humor day so you get to pick. Bud and Ernie (for new comers, they are the voices in my head); things my customers say or Spam. Top vote gets it.

15 comments:

Brandy said...

I am very glad you found your voice. And it fits you. Don't know if I can choose!

Bailey Stewart said...

You're no help ... lol

Bebo said...

Yes you do have a voice!
And I choose Bud & Ernie, the other voices...

but you knew I would! :-D

Bailey Stewart said...

k, that's one for Bud & Ernie, one for ... whatever .... LOL

MK Chester said...

I vote spam, and want to use some of this post when I talk to our creative writing class on Friday!

Bailey Stewart said...

okay, that's one spam, one voices in my head and one .. "huh?" You wanna use part of this? Oh wow .. go for it. I'm honored.

Susan, Super Earthling said...

I can almost remember the exact moment, years ago, when I "discovered" my voice while working on a manuscript. It was a happy, exciting moment because it felt so right, so natural, so me! It had been there all along but I never realized it.

I think so many writers are looking elsewhere, outside themselves, for their voice ("who should I try to sound like when I write?") when all they really need to do is to look within. And as you said, Bailey, the way to discover it is to write. A lot.

I remember Bud & Ernie & Spam but don't recall things your customers say--so that one gets my vote. :)

Bailey Stewart said...

That's it Duchess .. only through writing. And really, no one can ever "sound" like someone else. Customers huh? That's a three-way tie ... BRANDY!!!!!

Lis said...

I for one *heart* your voice.

Man, decisions, decisions. I'd forgotten all about the spam, but I'm voting for Bud & Ernie :) Luv those two!!

Bailey Stewart said...

awww, thank you Lis! I *heart* yours too.

Let's see, that's 2 for Bud, 1 for spam and 1 for customers ....

Alexa said...

Yay for voice recognition!

I vote for spam.

Bailey Stewart said...

Hi Alexa!!! Hmmm, now we're tied again. 2 for Bud/Ernie, 2 for spam and 1 for customers .. again, BRANDY!!!!!!

Toni Anderson said...

You definitely have a rom com voice :) Well, you make me laugh anyway :)

Bailey Stewart said...

Sheesh Toni, but you're so easy ... Hey FBA!

whateverfor said...

FWIW, I vote customer issues. I shared one of my own with you in the comments above. Enjoy :-)