Monday, October 25, 2010

Style and Voice

The elusive author's voice ... we've all heard we need to develop our voice. But what IS voice? Voice is something that lays between the words – it carries you and keeps you reading. Why do you (the reader) put a book down? There’s no chemistry between you and the voice. There has to be a connection between you and the characters/story.

Voice is your personality on the page. It’s a controlling presence behind the story narrative – it’s the person, the voice, the entity behind the story, driving the story forward. It’s style. Sentence structure. Sound. And it needs to be distinctive, unique and appropriate for the story.

Style is close to voice, but there’s a difference. It’s part of developing a voice. It’s the relationship between writer and reader and is the vehicle through which you say whatever you have to say. It’s the way you get your story told. Style is more than the way you dress up your story. It’s the complete way you tell the story; point of view, first person, third person, genre.

Style is the literary choices the narrator makes.
Voice is how the characters sound.

Let's talk about voice and style for the next couple of weeks. Let us know if you've found your literary voice/style. And let's talk about the differences between a fantasy voice and a non-fantasy voice.

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