Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Hoosier Ink and A Writer's Voice

Over on Hoosier Ink, the Indiana ACFW blog, I'm writing a little about a writer's voice today. It starts like this:

 One of my all-time favorite authors is Mark Twain. He speaks a language I recognize, relish and actually "feel" in my soul. I grew up on the river, and still live near a river as an adult. So when he says something like this:
"The face of the river, in time, became a wonderful book . . . which told its mind to me without reserve, delivering its most cherished secrets as clearly as if it had uttered them with a voice. And it was not a book to be read once and thrown aside, for it had a new story to tell every day."
Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi

...I hear it with my whole heart, as if it were my own heartbeat.  There are some authors who do that for me.

Then I go on to ask these questions:

Do you have insights on voice?
Do you have questions about your voice?
Whose voice (an author) do you feel is close to your voice?
Which author would you WANT to have a voice like? 

One of the exercises I've done is to list my favorite authors/books. What are your favorite books? What kind of a voice do these books have? I've thought a lot about this but always come to an impasse--my reading is all over the place! My journey has taken me from one side of the wilderness to the other (or universe!)

Share some of your favorite books with us. Do you think you have a voice anywhere near your favorite authors?


Story and Logic Media Group said...

I am still trying to figure out what voice is. Sigh.

Crystal Laine said...

Sharon, I think part of your voice is tied to the genre. Think about your favorite authors and what kind of voice they have. What if that author changed from romantic suspense to historical? Colleen Coble is doing this, but she is bringing her voice with her. She still has that suspense.

Brandilyn Collins wrote women's fiction and "seatbelt suspense." She ended up switching entirely to the suspense, but can't you see her voice in her early stuff?

It's hard to see your own voice.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Crystal -

I enjoy so many authors for different reasons.

Jane Kirkpatrick for her strong characters.

Cathy Marie Hake, Julie Lessman, Julie Klassen, Linore Burkhard for breathtaking historical romances.

Kristen Heitzmann, Colleen Coble, Mike Dellosso for mind-bending suspense.

Christina Berry, Christa Parrish, Lisa Samson for gritty contemporary subjects.

I don't know where my voice comes in yet. I try hard to learn from other authors without imitating them.

Susan :)