Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Writing Voice: Who Am I?

I debated all week what to write. Should I write something inspirational? Personal? Instructive? Should I try to be all things to all people?
And so I came to my topic. Being a people pleaser. This is built in to my psyche. I never want anyone to be angry with me, so I try to accommodate them by being everything to everybody. (This doesn't seem to apply to my children, with whom I have no problem making angry and not caring one whit.)
When it comes to my writing, I write as eclectic as I read. In fact, I can't be a reader while I'm a writer. I tend to absorb the style of the author and it shows up in my own writing, both in cadence and genre. I'm very sponge-like in that regard. (I'm spongy in other ways, too, but we won't go there.)
I'm still discovering my voice. I know I like humor. A story doesn't have to be all funny, but a surprising twist that make me laugh out loud is something that makes the story memorable.
I also like mysteries. Even when the story isn't a mystery per se, I still like unexpected twists and being outsmarted by the author.
I'm a skimmer. I am not a page-after-page of description gal. I've ruined more than one reading experience by skimming over pertinent facts and being brought up short with a “What did I miss?!?” Then having to flip back several pages until I can track down the lane change in some paragraph I skimmed over.
There are a few authors, however, that have made it into my permanent pantheon of acceptable influences. In the coming weeks I'll explore these various writers and why I consciously choose to emulate them, hopefully creating my own voice in the process.

Buon lavoro! [A traditional Italian phrase that directly translated means “Good work!”, but is more like “You can do it!” I hope you don't mind if I finish off my posts with it. Because you can, you know. Do it, I mean. ;)]


  1. I look forward to hearing more about your favorite authors.

    Finding voice is a hard path. I think the more I read the more I pick up. I find the qualities of others that I like and try to leave the traits that don't fit in with my internal style.

  2. I'm still struggling to find my voice too, as well as not inserting my voice into my characters. Hopefully one day I'll figure it out. And hopefully that will be before I get published, not after! :)

    Welcome to the MMW team! I look forward to learning more about you.

  3. I struggle with this one too! Don't we all?

    When I was a kid I used to adopt the laugh of other people. I even knew I was doing it at the time. What I wouldn't give now to know what my true laugh should have been. But maybe that's part of life . . . absorbing things we like (good and bad) from others and incorporating them into ourself. So we, in the end, are an eclectic mixture of our friends, family, and other influences.

    BTW--I can't wait to hear your recommendations!

  4. I've been thinking a lot about this. Yes we all stuggle to find out voice but I think that part of that is because as we write we grow and our voice changes. Add to that the unique voice of the story, all the characters, the narrater, etc. and we have to work to bring all those voices together in harmony without losing our own voice in the mix.

    It can be quite a stuggle.

  5. I don't happen to have this problem. I have found my voice. Can anyone say MULTIPLE PERSONALITY? voice is all over the place. UGH!!

    I do agree with Sugoi, that our voice will change as we grow and learn. It also changes with each story and the character's heads we have to crawl into. Obviously, we wouldn't want a frail teen girl's voice in a strong male hero, but then again....who knows. ROFL.

    Good Luck!



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