More Stories: The Creative Writing Podcast

Season 3: Episode 4 – Finding Your Writing Voice

How do we develop a unique, literary voice in our writing?

When we start to realize that our writing is lacking a certain quality, often called authorial or literary voice, we may react in a couple of ways that aren’t helpful. We may try to be more “writerly” and the work comes off as stiff or over-done, and it won’t resonate with readers or editors. Or, we might just decide to give up.

But, with time and practice, you can nurture you written words and find your writing voice.


Finding Your Writing Voice

The authorial voice is a certain quality present in good writing which isn’t easily defined. It’s easy to see when a piece is lacking a strong voice because it seems clumsy, or it stalls, or it fails to capture us.

A strong writing voice reassures the reader that the writer is comfortable, competent, and confident with the written word. It helps gain the reader’s trust.

Voice is made up of rhythm, cadence, and tone. It is influenced by word choice and word order. It is related to the use and manipulation of syntax, grammar, punctuation, and writing conventions. It is about structure, and choices. And, any particular author’s literary voice is dependent on the writer’s experience, empathy, imagination, and ability to see things in a unique way.

Tips to improve authorial voice:

  1. Engage in the practice-feedback-revision loop, often.
  2. Be aggressive in identifying your own writing weaknesses.
  3. Engage in deep reading of good literature.
  4. Experiment

Put some of these tips into practice, and you will find your own writing voice will continue to develop.

I mention this in the episode:

Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises

O’Connor: Complete Short Stories

Walls: The Glass Castle

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Podcast: Finding Your Writing Voice