Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Being Heard Above The Noise

Writers, have you ever had a manuscript rejected because the editor/agent did not like your 'voice'?

All new writers are told that in order to make it as a writer you have to find your Writer's Voice. And did that ever make you think, well of course I have a voice. If I didn't then I wouldn't be able to tell a story, right? Well that's true in a way but in some respects as a writer you owe it to yourself to consider what your voice is, how you can develop it and how to avoid mistakes in your telling of the story.

As a new writer myself, my first novel is being published on 14th March 2014, so somewhere along the line I found my voice. Luckier still a publisher thinks it is one that readers would like to hear.
Writer's Stop
 My biggest tips to finding your voice:

  • (I hate to bring it up again because everyone and his dog puts this one first but...) READ. Lots, often and think about what it is that made you like/dislike/love/loathe/feel indifferent to the piece.
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  • Write often. A lot of what we start off writing should not be seen by anyone. They are trial runs for the real thing. Don't be in rush to get editors etc to look at your work until you can describe the type of writer you are: witty, quirky, full of angst, easy going, fast paced action, poetic and full of imagery. You get the picture? If you don't know who you are as a writer, chances are any agent reading your work won't know either
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  • Write what you believe in and don't follow trends. By the time you've finished your story a new trend will have started. Who knows - if you stick to something you have faith in you may well start your own trend. 
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  • If a story is not sitting well with you and you find it hard to continue and ideas that were flowing seem to dry up, consider whether this piece really suits your voice. If you can't imagine yourself enjoying it then no-one else will. Leave it on a back burner. You may be able to resurrect a character, plot line or scene to use somewhere else. Don't be afraid to stop writing a story.
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  • Read your work aloud. If it does not sound like you in conversation with your ideal reader (more often than not that person is you) then something is not quite right. Re-work it so it feels right to say out loud. That's you, your writer's voice is there when you know it sounds good.
But don't panic. Every one who claims to be a writer has a voice. Discovering what yours is and what stories it tells best is a satisfying and truthful feeling. So keep at it.

For a useful article about Finding Your Writer's Voice Click Here

Happy Writing

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