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Friday, May 16, 2014

Conference Recap--Voice!

LDStorymakers 2014 Writer's Conference Recap

First I need to apologize for not only being late with my post today, but for the fact that I can't find my notebook. We have lots of yellow spiral notebooks around my house, but none of them are the one I took to Utah. My guess is one of the kids grabbed it and thought it was there's. So today you are going to get  what I "remember". 

Lisa Mangum's class description--Editors, agents, and publishers all clamor for it: a strong story with a strong voice. But what is that, exactly? How do you get it? And if you already have it, how do you make it stronger? This class will focus on ways to strength your writing voice (and your character’s voice) so that your story can sing loud and clear. 

This class was probably the most fun. I still need to work on my own voice, but I feel like I understand it better.  You don't have to watch all of these two videos. I'm not certain if the second version is the one Lisa used, but it's the same idea. Watch enough (at least a minute and half) to hear the difference in Voice.
Which one do you believe?

The other thought that stuck with me was this:
Voice is WHAT you have to say, and STYLE is how you say it.

Those two songs used the same words but they sounded different. One of them was much easier to believe. You could FEEL that the singer meant those words.

When you write a story there must be something that you want to say. Something you or your characters really believe in. If you believe it, then it will come out in the way you write. That is voice.

Perhaps this is the problem with my writing. I've always thought that I just wanted to tell a good story. There isn't a purpose/theme/lesson that I'm trying to get across. Maybe if I find something I really believe in and then give that to my characters, my voice will become one that readers will connect to and believe as well.

What do you think about voice? What books have you read that ooze voice?


Stephanie Faris said...

Unfortunately, voice is something that can't be learned, so it's frustrating for writers to hear that. We aren't ever sure what to do about that because there isn't a technique, aside from simply being true to your own style and following your instincts.

Liz A. said...

People used to tell me they loved how I put things. But those were days when I was writing essays for school and I didn't get what they meant. I think I understand now.

Unfortunately, nowadays my "voice" includes way too many "so"s and ellipses.

mshatch said...

Yep, voice is hard. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater comes to mind as a book with great voice (I'm still crushing on this book and its author)as well as The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. Both have multiple characters with very distinct voices.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Charity
I've learned that all elements of writing are important. From plot too scene structure. Weaving in back story a little at a time. POV and staying in it. Your voice is unique to you and as you write it will come to enhance your words with spices like a fine meal. Don't worry too much, you already own your voice.

There are a number of books I recommend as must reads to help you with your writing skills.

The Writer's Journey by Vogul.
Self-Editing for the Fiction Writer by Renne and King. This book explains simply many crafting issues.
45 Master Characters

Thanks for your comments on my blog.