Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Finding one's voice is made much of all over. We want our writing to speak from us as people, but us made sparkling and witty and insightful, with a thin veneer of fiction if that's what we write. Some writers I know retreat to cabins at the beach to be isolated and more easily themselves, some take Hemingway's approach and drink, some outline from their dreams as closest to their concepts and isolate themselves with orchestras to hammer them into shape.

For me, it's in large part a matter of balancing the things I want to say with the way I want to portray my characters, as I largely write fiction. I try to consider the ways in which their thinking would differ from mine.

Most of my characters, for example, do not read quite as much non-fiction as I do, or at least not for fun, so they don't have the wide general knowledge I do. Or they don't value reading at all. But a voice that disdains reading isn't quite the voice I want to write with, thus the careful balance.

I've mentioned other points of consideration before, relating to gender and the construction of a character's world. But having writing sound like mine is another point, and one that changes as I do and becomes more or less important in certain kinds of writing.

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