The ability to create a unique and captivating voice is essential. Voice is composed of multiple things: vocabulary, tone, sentence structure, connotation, etc. It’s how your words sound on paper. For example, say you are reading a story written in first person. As you read, you should hear the words in your head as if the narrator were talking aloud. Sometimes, it’s a voice you’ve never heard before, something the author created.
Voice can also be third-person narration. This would be a reflection of the author’s style more than a reflection of the author’s character. Though the two are different, the skill necessary to create either is similar. Every author strives to generate a unique voice. It brings the writing alive.
Creating a voice is tricky. If you hear the narrator’s voice in your mind, it’s easier for the readers to hear it in theirs. You can learn by reading other authors’ works, as well. Some classic examples are J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Practice, like with everything else, always helps, so I’m going to give you an assignment of sorts to help you practice developing a voice:
Choose one of the following sentences as a starting point for developing a voice. The piece needn’t be long, just make it a sketch (300 words or so). Look for clues in the sentence’s intonation, word choice and sentence structure to continue the development of the voice.
1.) You simply must understand that I am no imposter.
2.) There ain’t nothin’ more beautiful than a noble deed.
3.) The tender clouds opened, permitting the dazzling sunlight to pour on to my glorious face.
4.) The rain, as it always did, soaked through my clothes and soiled my shoes, mocking me and telling me life could get worse than I thought.
If you’d like to share, feel free to leave it in the comment box. Have fun!