Friday, February 22, 2013

So Good to Hear Your Voice

If you've been around the writer’s block a few times, you may have heard the term “voice” bantered about.

Voice is that certain something that makes your writing unique –

The way you say what you've got to say… because, my friend, nobody else is going to say it quite that way.

As an illustration (pun thoroughly intended), think of 10 folks in an art class gathered around a still life. Obviously, no two artists in the room will draw that hodgepodge of pine cones, French horns, and lobsters in exactly the same way.

The same goes for a scene, ten writers, and the alphabet.

I've been to my share of writers' conferences and every editor and agent says the exact same thing (in his or her own “voice” of course)…

“I am looking for a fresh voice.”

Well, the best way to find your voice is to write… A LOT.

But here’s something else to try if you'd like to explore the power of voice – give a good listen to a couple of audiobooks. There is something about actually hearing voice that helps you really grasp what it means.

Presently, I am enjoying A Year in the World by Frances Mayes.  And that is just how she would say it, too – “presently” with a lovely southern lilt.

Another favorite of mine is All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. Nothing says “hello” like his opener – a bloody bovine breech delivery.

Do you have a favorite audiobook? If so, please share…

I’m always looking for a fresh voice.

PROMPT: Download an audiobook or grab a Playaway from your local library and give this a whirl. Then explore your voice by rewriting one of the scenes in a way that expresses your freshness.


  1. When I use to drive back from Atlantic City to Bloomsburg I listened to the Dark Tower series by Steven King. The first four books out of the seven were read by Frank Muller who in my opinion had one of the best reading voices I had ever heard. He made the characters come to life in such an audio way. When I popped in the disc for the fifth novel I was surprised and upset to find that they had changed the reader to George Muller. I listened on and at the end Steven King himself came on to say Frank Muller was in an accident and couldn't continue.I felt so sad as if one of the main characters I grew to love over the thousands of miles I drove had passed on. It's amazing what a voice can do.

    1. Great story, little b! I'll have to give the series a serious listen.