Wow. It’s been a little rough getting back into the groove after such a fun week. Doing dishes and laundry has definitely lost it’s appeal. Okay, there wasn’t much appeal to begin with, but I was spoiled last week.
I met some amazing writers who became friends and by the end of the week I felt full to bursting with wisdom, knowledge, advice, inspiration… I could go on forever, but I narrowed it down to a few things I’d like to blog about over the next week or so. Here is #1:
Voice was something I heard over and over and over during the conference. What’s the #1 thing editors and agents look for in a manuscript? Voice.
It’s a slippery subject, one that people grapple with in various ways. I’ve heard a few good definitions, yet it continues to be a bit of an enigma only because it’s not a tangible tool that writer’s can consciously whip out when they want. I’ve heard some give “tips” on how to improve voice, but I don’t think voice is something a writer can be prescriptive about. It’s either there or it’s not.
Really? No advice? It’s like the “It-Factor?” Sort of.
The best advice I’ve heard given on voice came from Orson Scott Card at the LTUE conference a few years ago. He said something like this: A writer shouldn’t worry about voice; just worry about telling your story as clearly and honestly as possible and the voice will be there naturally.
It sounds a little too simple for something so important, and so it is. To tell a story clearly is actually dang hard, therefore voice is intricately connected to the level of skill the writer possesses. A strong voice is a manifestation of your honesty as a person and your authority of the craft. That’s what I think, anyway.