Voice is you. It's the way you string together a sentence. It's the way you think put into words. It's your sense of humor, or poetry, or drama. It's the way you talk.
But we have multiple voices: one for talking to our friends, one when speaking in front of a group, one when we're blogging. Some writers maintain consistent voice for every novel. Others change their voice with each story. Most people change their voice when working with different mediums.
But how do you develop your voice? How do you make it work to your advantage?
For me, the key is slipping into the right frame of mind. I need something to latch onto so I can begin the story. Once that happens, the writing gets easy, the words and images start to flow.
- Sometimes it starts with an image: a windy empty field, sparks words that echo solitude, and leaves little room for long sentences.
- Other times it starts with a character's personality: helter-skelter, here and there, words tumbling out, clipped, never finished.
- Sometimes it starts with a feeling: the death of a loved hanging over the house like a shroud.
The hard part is sustaining voice over a long period of time. Sometimes its easy to slip into it, but other days I just can't. Right now I'm still struggling for something to grasp onto, but I think I'm closer. I've found it before, and I need to find it again.
How do you find your voice? Do you worry about it too?