How to Find Your Voice: Advice to Writers from a Writer

One of the most difficult things for writers to create is an interesting story for readers, but it’s really important to find your voice, something I never struggled too hard with (since I have very strong opinions). So, I want to impart my knowledge to help out writers who are struggling to get their voice to shine when writing fiction stories.           

Don’t be Afraid

Even if writing is supposed to be a stress reliever, it can be a very stressful addiction. Because what if you aren’t good enough? It’s a question that goes through my head all the time. I don’t feel good enough. But I know that, even if for a second, I can forget all of that and zone out of the world, I can impart my knowledge. It is important to let yourself go into the story.

Don’t be objective

This is to tell a story, it is not a research paper. So, make it personal. Emotion is key to getting a strong narrative voice in a work. Its okay to personal, because technically it’s all fiction. So, no one knows how personal it is besides you. People just assume it’s a great piece of work.           

It’s okay to put yourself in the story

Be a part of the story. It’s best if you use your own experiences to aid your writing journey. Writing is a raw experience, and requires you to add a bit of yourself into it. If you don’t know how to relate to your story, you’ll feel disconnected to your writing. I know some things are impossible to experience. I doubt many people have been abducted by aliens, turned into a werewolf, or discover they are witches. But you can utilize experiences you had to format your characters’ reactions and emotions.

Know your characters

Again, you must know who your characters are. Are they shy? Loud? Sarcastic? Each different characteristic informs the writing process. A shy character can’t just break out in strings of curses. An outgoing character can’t keep quiet and not voice their opinions. So, to do this you must know the ins and outs of a character, and what their reactions would be. A good exercise is to take your characters out of the context of the story. For example, imagine your character in another book you read, and analyze what their behaviors, thoughts, and actions would be. This way, you have the sense that your characters are alive outside of the story so they feel like real people to your readers.

Use yourself

The only true way to create an impenetrable voice in work is to truly just let yourself in it. Put a tidbit of you into each of your characters so you can easily relate to all of them. Without your presence in the story, you don’t have the rue connection, but you will distance yourself. The fun part is that nobody has to know. No one needs to realize what you have done to create such a realistic character. They don’t have to know you are part of each and every one. Because in fiction, in the end, it's all fake. But when you let go and add a bit of yourself, then it feels so real.  

Helpful sources

In the end the whole voice thing is up to you. Struggling to find your voice does not make you any less of a writer. But if this small blurb is in the slightest bit helpful, let me say there are sources out there. Books are a great way to advance knowledge quickly. Writer's Digest is always a helpful company for trying to better your writing. Their books are fun and simple to read and chocked full of examples. But the real project is not giving up. Everyone needs to write, practice and read to become the best writer they can be.