Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What I’ve Learned Wednesday: Voice

I started listening to “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert the other day. From the very first word I fell in love with the book’s voice. Glibert’s writing voice is so unrestricted, so playful, so extraordinary. If I could eat a writing voice, I would gobble hers up in about two seconds.
Not only is the writing voice beautiful, but Elizabeth Gilbert’s speaking voice is stunning (fyi: she narrates the audio book). Her voice is like being stranded on a deserted island for twelve years, and then you finally are rescued by someone. When they speak, their voice rings in your ears as the most beautiful sound you’ve ever heard. That is how I feel about Elizabeth Gilbert’s voice. I sort of wish mine sounded that breath-taking. In other words, I’m going to say her voice rocks!

Taking all of this into consideration, I have been thinking a lot about writing voice. I’ve found that reading A LOT helps me to develop my voice, my style. With reading other authors, you can see what you like about their writing voice and what you may not like as much. Like I said, I really liked Elizabeth’s voice, however, it doesn’t lend itself easily for my book. It has given me some ideas, though, of how I can polish my manuscript and make it even better.

So on this “What I’ve Learned Wednesday, I am going to suggest that you read a lot and study how other authors relay their voice to you through their stories. You may even want to do the same with blogs. I’ve found some way awesome voices through the blogs I that frequent (ie: Carrie Harris & Kiersten White). This may help improve your own voice with the added benefit of eating up a good story at the same time.

So tell me, how do you cultivate your own writing voice? And which author’s writing voices do you absolutely love?


  1. I've got two authors whose voices I absolutely love. The first is Kurt Vonnegut, with his middle America, mildly crotchety old man style. He's got a very personable voice that feels like an old friend telling you about what happened to him last year while you sip lemonade in the living room together.

    My other favorite is Allen Ginsberg. I think he's a master of powerful, vivid language and weaves images not only with the words themselves, but with the sound and the rhythm of the words together.

  2. Rob - I liked how you described those two author's voices. I think I could eat them up too.

  3. Oh, this topic of voice is a sore one for me for reasons I won't get into. (I'm actually going to do a blog post on this as well in a few days--still working on it).

    Yep, we have to have voice. We have to cultivate it and develop it. It's what sets us apart from the regular joes out there. Agents even say they are looking for new voices, something fresh, something different.

    I think the best advice, is to be honest in our writing. Truthful. Our voice will show up in that.

    Love meeting fellow Utahns (I'm up in the Davis area). New follower. Utah writers are awesome.

  4. Oh, hey. I just saw that you're reading the Replacement over there--->

    Let me know what you think. I've heard mixed reviews. Thanks.

  5. Angela - I am so glad to have you here on my blog now. Yah for writers from Utah! I'll let you know what I think of The Replacement. I'm sort in a I-can't-get-myself-in-the-mood-to-read mode. I will try to hunker down and read.
    Voice is tough. I am still working on it. My book is pretty dark. I am relatively a happy person. It is tough to have my voice ring through the book when I am not particulary dark. Dark ideas tend to be what I write though. So contradictory, right? Hmmm. I will survive. Look forward to your voice post.Thanks!

  6. I hɑve read so many аrticles concerning the blogger lоvers buut this pƿiece of writing is truly a pleasant piece of writing, keep it up.

    My blog post: natural views

  7. Ԝhen I initially commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each
    time a comment iѕ added I geеt three e-mails with the same
    comment. Is there any way you can remove people feom that service?
    Appreciate it!

    Also ѵisit my blog post ... clip views ()