As a relative
newbie, other writers told me to find my
voice. Once youve found your
voice, they said, it will get easier to get
published. But what is your voice? No
one could say. What they did say was that I would
know when I found it.
Great, that really told
me a lot!
I even took a
one-day workshop called "Finding your
voice." But I still didnt find my
voice, let alone have a better understanding of
what it was.
So instead I
wrote. And I wrote, and I wrote. Then one day my
writing buddy was critiquing a novel Id
recently begun. She looked over the top of the
paper and said "I see youve finally
found your voice."
It took me
quite a while, close to two years in fact, but
find my voice I did. Or maybe I should make that
your voice is your style, your tone, the fashion
of writing you feel most comfortable with. Your
voice will carry throughout your story or novel.
More than likely, readers will recognise it as
being your own unique style.
decide to buy your book because of it. Or they
might decide not to, and all because of your
Looking back, I
see now that my problem was that I write across
various genres. For each type of writing, I have
a different voice.
How is that
In my own
situation, I place myself into the main
protagonists shoes, so I take on her
personality for the life of the story. For
example, in my Kelly and Tony Mystery Series,
which are all first person POV
comedy/crime/romance stories, Kelly Johnston is
the main protagonist. She is a private
investigator, gun savvy and street-wise. She
wont let men walk all over her, and
shes no lady.
he backed me up against the wall, his lips
covered mine before I could protest.
gonna protest. Really I was!
swooped and my lips were once again occupied. Not
that Im complaining. See, we got this
understanding, Tony and me, we sort of flirt a
bit, do a bit of kissing Tonys a
great kisser then get on with the job.
On the other
hand, if you were to read something else
Ive written, you would hear a different
voice altogether. Here is the opening of
"Arms of a Stranger" - my romantic
Ellis slowed for the traffic lights. She
didnt need this. Time was of the essence.
She looked about. Everything seemed fine, calm.
tapped her fingers against the steering wheel.
She would be okay, no need to panic, no reason to
shadow came across her face, and Kareena looked
In this piece,
you will find absolutely no trace of Kelly
Johnston. Why? Because Kareena Ellis is a totally
different kettle of fish; her personality is
almost the opposite of Kellys. Her
circumstances are the reverse. This protagonist
is in trouble; shes witnessed a murder and
is on the run from the killers. Kelly, on the
other hand, delights in finding killers.
this snippet from "Saving Emma" which
will be released January 2005. This short piece
is from the point of view of the male
protagonist, an undercover police detective.
didnt seem to go much for cops. And
undercover cops? That was a whole different
story. Gone for weeks on end depending on the
assignment, finding yourself in dangerous or life
threatening situations; chicks just dont go
there had been the occasional girlfriend, but
they never seemed to work out. They just
didnt like his life-style. And when they
found out his two brothers were private
investigators -- that was the absolute end.
family fraught with danger - thats
what one girl told him -- so at thirty-two, Gary
was still single and not entirely unhappy about
the situation. Life as an undercover cop was
Since this last
piece is from the POV of a male, you definitely
wont find Kelly or Kareena here. What you
will find is another personality entirely. You will
find an independent operator, someone who keeps
his thoughts close to his chest. But you will
also find someone who wants to save the love of
his life from being murdered.
Now that you
know how to find your voice, discovery
will be so much easier. So what are you waiting