Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Are you using your voice?

Ok, I know that's a strange question, but hear me out. I'm talking about your author's voice. That voice that speaks to you and drives you to write. You know that voice, it's the one that wakes you in the middle of the night, the one that keeps your mind off everything around you, and it's the one that nudges you to write that next chapter before bedtime. Yeah, you know it. All writers hear it, some ignore it, but you hear it. But the question is, are you using your voice? Have you listened to others and changed to suit them, but not you? Yes, we need to listen to our critics, but if we totally change our voice aren't we denying our inner talent. When you write from your heart it shows. When you listen to that voice in your head you use your writer's voice. If you change that and don't listen to your own voice, then where does the story come from. Well, it would have to come from somewhere outside of your head, which means you're not using your voice. It's your writer's voice that makes you the writer. It's that voice that gives you the stories you write, the emotions, the complexity of characters. So, if you don't use your own voice, then what next? Did you know that your voice determines the genre you write in? If your voice leans toward romance, then you write romance, if it leans toward science fiction, then you'll write science fiction. You get the picture, right? Well, I've talked to writer's that listened to critics and other people and they changed their voice. But it wasn't a good change, it was a tragic change. Their writing went downhill. Yes, we all need to edit our voice, I mean we're not perfect in no means, but we don't need to edit our voice. I had a reviewer tell me one time that I needed to add some tequila shots to one of my books. She went on to explain that she thought it needed to have more heated love scenes. Well, I'm sorry, but that's not my voice. She liked the book, but wanted more steamy sex scenes. My writing voice leans more toward the calmer romance voice. I have no problem with steamier books, but it's just not my voice. That's why we have authors that write in that voice. I lean more toward the heart warming romance. But that's just the way I write. I have many great author friends that write steamy romance and I love their books. They in turn read mine and appreciate it also. We understand that all of us has a different voice. So, are you following your voice? Are you listening to that inner part of you that makes your writing exclusively yours? Remember to follow your heart and not follow what's popular now. You never know, you could start a new voice or popular culture. As always, good writing and May God Bless You...