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5 Tips For Developing Your Writing Voice

It's all about you

Ultimately, the thing that distinguishes you from every other writer is your voice. Sure, youíve got to get the research done, or the character developed. But how you get the facts or set the scene down on paper is a reflection of your voice.

This is why you can write an article on the 10 best ways to cook chicken and I can write an article with the same title, and even the same recipes, and both articles end up being quite different. Each has been filtered through our individual experience and set down in our individual voice. Itís also why, although many mystery novels have roughly the same plot (i.e. who done it), each one is different. In fiction, not only does each author have their own unique voice, they develop a voice for each character.

Dictionary.com defines voice this way: The distinctive style or manner of expression of an author or of a character in a book.

So how do you develop your own voice? Here are 5 tips:

    1. Write honestly, from the heart.

    When you write from your feelings, your voice will be automatic. Of course, youíll have to rewrite and edit, but allow your honest feelings to surface and show.

    2. Write as if you were writing or talking to a friend.
    When youíre writing or talking with a friend, the honesty and passion show up. So does the clarity. Clarity, even simplicity, expressed through you will make your writing sing - in your voice.

    3. Picture your reader.
    Every time you write, youíre writing for a particular audience. Think how you would address one reader in that group as if they were a friend. Write for that person.

    4. Read widely
    Read all sorts of things. Get out of your field and read something youíre not inclined to read. Notice the voice. Can you see yourself writing that way? If not, why not? The answers donít matter; the key here is just to become aware of voice.

    5. Experiment
    Break out of your comfort zone. If you always write articles, try a short story, or part of one. If you write mostly for high-end travel magazines, try something for children. The goal here isnít to break into a new market, although that may happen, itís to play and experiment and stretch your boundaries. You can even do this with a sentence or two as an exercise.

    In many ways your writing voice is automatic. Itís built in. Which doesnít mean you canít improve it or enlarge it and develop even more flexibility and resourcefulness.

    Write well and often,



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