8 STRATEGIES ON CREATING AN INDIVIDUAL AND UNIQUE VOICE
So you want to stand out from the crowd, be unlike any other author or writer, and create a voice that is completely unique to you. Well, my friend, if you have found this article then you are in the right place.
No two writers are the same. Have you ever heard the saying by Asha Dornfest:
‘I think new writers are too worried that it has all been said before? Sure it has, but not by you’.
And she is absolutely right. You are already unique, and now it’s time to strengthen that and delve further into discovering your individual voice.
Check out 8 strategies below:
YOUR UNIQUE VOICE:
This is first, my friends, because this is hands down the most important part of this article. Your voice is one of the main driving points of your story, it differentiates you from other writers, sets apart your novel to others, and shows the readers what kind of author you are. So how can you create or strengthen your unique voice?
Write every single day
Yep, every single day, my friends! It doesn’t have to be 1000 words, and it doesn’t have to be about the story you are writing. This is why short stories are such a great idea when it comes to writers developing their skills. Write every day and play around with different techniques, genres, tenses, first, second and third person, etc. until you find a grounding that suits you and the writer you want to be.
Read, read, read!
You can never read enough, and that’s a good thing. If you want to develop your unique voice, then you are going to have to conduct some research to help you discover it. The best place to do that is in the books you read. Is it copying? No way! No singular voice will ever be the same as another, but that doesn’t mean you can’t draw inspiration from other writers. For instance, I love the storytelling of Tolkien, the dialogue of Martin, and the description of Rothfuss. I have learned from them, and in turn, I have become a better writer for it.
Speak out loud
Have you ever heard yourself on a recording or a video, and thought ‘oh my god, is that what I actually sound like!’ I know I have plenty of times, and I worked in radio for a while! Speaking out loud may make you cringe a little, but it can be unbelievably beneficial to your writing. Read aloud a sentence you have written and you’ll be surprised at what you will change after.
YOUR CHARACTERS UNIQUE VOICE:
Okay, so you may be the writer of this story, but your character is the driving force that your readers will empathise with and support throughout the journey. You don’t want them sounding like every other character, do you? Nor do you want your character to come across as plain and simple with no flavour. So how do you avoid that? You give them a unique voice too.
Get to know them
You can’t write about a character that you don’t know. I mean, you can, but it’s going to drag your story down. Take the time to get to know your character before you jump straight on into your story. Make them a part of your family and see them as though they are a living being.
Create a journal on their behalf
I think this is great and it has helped me out a lot! I saw this idea years ago but never implemented it until a couple of months ago. I keep a journal for my main character in my fantasy novel that I am currently working on. If I think of a situation, or I myself am placed in a situation, I like to think; what would he do? And how would he handle it? This idea allows you to really delve deep into your character’s personality and allows you to understand them better.
How do they talk?
No one character is going to talk the same. They not only are going to sound different, but they will have different phrases, their personalities will decide if they are reserved or outspoken, some will swear and others won’t, some will use short and sharp sentences and others long and drawn out. Another factor to consider is their gender, age, the era they were born in and where they were born. This can help you create a unique voice for all of your characters.
REMOVING THE WEAK FOR THE STRONG:
I’m not talking about killing your darlings or changing your story’s plot. I’m talking about removing weak words and aspects of your writing voice that are dragging you down.
Remove the bad words
There are certain words that can drag your writing down in standards, make your story sound repetitive, and can make your voice sound way too similar to other writers. What are these words?
Said, say, think, feel, was, very, almost, nearly, big, small, suddenly, am, were, really
Why should you get rid of these words? Because, my friends, they are not important to your story or you can find better ones. Be more descriptive. This will also help you with the show don’t tell rule.
Eliminate passive voice
What is passive voice? It’s a form or set of forms of a verb in which the subject undergoes the action of the verb. To understand this concept better here is an example:
Six chocolate bars must have been eaten by the man.
In this sentence, the ‘chocolate bars’ are the subject and the word ‘eaten’ is the verb. Now, you may be wondering what’s wrong with this and the use of passive voice? Nothing is wrong with it, and a lot of the time it’s unavoidable, but there is a better option. Active voice. Here is an example:
The man must have eaten six chocolate bars.
In this sentence, the ‘man’ is the subject and the word ‘eaten’ is the verb. How is this better? Because the man is now the main focus, not the chocolate bars. Not only that, but the sentence is cleaner and easier to read.
All finished. Let’s chat!
Congrats, fellow writers. Finding your unique voice is extremely important to not only your story, but to you as a writer.
Let me know if my 8 Strategies on Creating an Individual and Unique Voice treated you well, and if you think there is anything missing that you would like to learn about.
Hit me up in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!