You’ll often hear the word ‘voice’ in relation to writing style. What does it mean?
For some it’s an ever-elusive writing style that escapes them, a way of writing that gives you a unique style. It’s probably elusive because they keep searching for it.
Don’t look too hard. When you are relaxed and telling a story in your own way, you are already using your writing voice. It’s something that comes naturally and sounds almost conversational – as if you are telling it aloud.
Of course you still have to pay attention to grammar, punctuation, style, and all the other writing rules. You need to investigate them and read about them. A good writer will never presume they know it all. You need to know enough about them to be able to break the rules and still be readable.
Keep writing and rewriting and you will find your own style – your own voice.
Click the image to go to TVTropes website to find out more
Here’s something to play with to get your creative juices flowing. Hopefully, it will also help to unblock writer’s block if you feel you are suffering from it.
The Periodic Table of story elements is split into Structure, Settings, Plot, Heroes, Character Modifiers (Protagonist/Antagonist), Archetypes, Villains, and more.
Clicking on each ‘element’ in the table will jump you to a page that explains that element in more depth.
There are ways of combining the elements into the basic formula for a story by using the ‘Story Molecules‘ below the table.
TVTropes (the website this Periodic Table is from) is a catalog of the tricks of the trade for writing fiction.
Stories have people in them and it is up to you as the writer to make them believable and real.
Often a story will grow out of people from your imagination. The characters will begin to form first and then the situations develop around them.
What happens when you can’t make your characters seem real?
A regular exercise in my Creative Writing class is a story swap.
Between us we decide on a subject idea and write a short story of about 1500 words and then bring our story to class for feedback from our peers. The subject can be used as loosely as we choose and we often do a spider chart in class to get us started.
I had an idea for a story recently based on one image I saw somewhere. The figure of a woman hurrying through a tree-lined avenue on a misty, rainy evening was very atmospheric. It conjured up questions about where she might be going, where she was hurrying to and why she was hurrying. I wanted to know more.
I started to write and found myself creating a couple of characters and then placing them. I didn’t consciously place them – it just came to mind. The image I saw made me think of Paris and that’s where I imagine the story to take place. I know nothing about Paris beyond what I’ve read and seen in films.