So I was trolling my good friend DX‘s site and saw a button. I love to push buttons. On the web AND in life.
The button led me to this cool little function that analyzes your text and returns a writing with a similar style.
How cool is that??? Stephen King is… well… The King of writing!!
Granted, I doubt the program is all that accurate, since I only gave about a page and a half of chapter one of Aces Wild, but still.
Anyway, I know this may seem silly, but it feels awesome to me.
It took me a good while to figure out how to write as me, rather than just how to write. Knowing grammar is one thing. Writing as yourself and making the text come alive is an entirely different concept that took me a bit to get used to. I tell stories, but I tell them as me, rather than as words on paper.
In fact, I’ve written four different WIPs until I started Aces Wild and realized that this was me. It’s written as part of me and I enjoyed writing it. I enjoyed every moment of the tale. While I like my other works, they’re hard for me to write and I think it’s entirely due to the fact that I was putting words to paper rather than speaking.
I think what helped me define my voice, the most, was writing in Deep POV. Instead of “Ace thought he looked odd,” I wrote “He looked odd.” It’s a blending of first-person and third-person. Writing first-person from a third-person perspective helps to keep characters easily distinguishable while pulling the reader deep into the character’s perspective.
Then, I wrote a heroine who resembles a part of me. This helped me put my thoughts down into written form. Ever tried to transcribe a verbal conversation? It’s usually pretty darn hard. Tons of run-on sentences, lots of semi-colons and randomness. So changing that randomness into grammatically correct written word can be complicated. By using a heroine I could entirely relate to, it helped me learn how I write, as an author, and now I can spread that to characters that are different from me. I can sink (and synch) into their characters. I was able to write what I thought and what I would say, and still make it readable. Now I can write stories from other perspectives, but I know how to make my own, personal voice, come alive from and through another person.
I was recently in a conversation with another author where it came up that Romantic Comedy is a tough niche to get into and isn’t a huge market. But it’s what I do best. It’s what I enjoy writing, the most of all of it. At some point, writing serious stories and drama becomes a chore for me. Writing humor, even if it has seriousness and drama, always keeps me going. That’s how I live life in reality, too.
I think that’s a huge part of “voice”: what helps a writer survive their day-to-day life is what distinguishes their writing from all the other writing out there. It’s that spark that makes you an individual in real life, put down into paper.
Give it a shot! Write a character that has some of your personality. Go deep into their perspective but write it in third person. See how that feels? That’s your voice. It doesn’t mean all your characters will be like you. Nor does it mean that you are restricted to a certain genre. However, it’s a great way (IMHO, of course) to train yourself to write from YOU, rather than just the visions in your head.
The visions are unique. Make them yours by writing from and as you.
Hopefully, I’ll have a book out in the next 6 months or so, and you can tell me what you think about my voice.
So I’ll ask this question, now… You can answer based on the excerpt or wait until Aces Wild comes out at some point (still in the pre-submission polishing phase)….
What do you think? Who does my writing remind you of? And what do YOU do to establish your voice?
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