Someone asked me to give examples of "voice." In 2005 the writers' group, Chi Libris, published a book called What the Wind Picked Up. The point was to show how you could take a single beginning sentence and how each author would come up with their own unique story. In doing so each author spoke in their own unique voice, too.
The authors were (with some writing advice within the book:)
James Scott Bell
Ron and Janet Benrey
Janet Chester Bly
Mindy Starns Clark
DeAnna Julie Dodson
Doris Elaine Fell
Gail Gaymer Martin
Donita K. Paul
Jefferson Scott (Jeff Gerke)
They all started with this line:
"The wind was picking up."
Each story was about 6 pages long. (If you use a formula that would probably be about 1250-1500 words, but maybe up to 2000 words.)
So if you were given this assignment, what would you come up with? Try this exercise. You have to make all the same decisions that you do for a long story--genre, characters, plot, setting, conflict, etc.
Let me know if you try this. Also, maybe it will be the start of finding where you need to be. You'll be using your own experiences, your interests, your humor or drama, your mood, YOUR STYLE and most importantly YOUR VOICE. Do not write more than 6 pages, but try to at least write 1000 words. Remember, this is a short story. If you really get going and develop it into a full length book, let me know that. You don't have to share your story, just let me know if you tried it and what you discovered about your voice.
I'll try to come up with a quiz on voice in the meantime.