Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A to Z: Editing Fiction - Voice

2017 THEME: Editing Fiction (Because that's what I'm in the middle of doing.)

What is the Blogging from A to Z challenge and where can I find more participants? Right here.

The Voice of your story can make up for a host of downfalls. Take the time to get to know what your voice is, what makes the way your tell your story different. It might be the word choice, phrasing, sentence structures, certain themes, how your characters talk or any number of other things. Make sure whatever your doing fits the mood of the story itself while still being you.

For instance, you might favor short punchy sentences or longer, eloquent ones.  Do you use a lot of big words, slang, or easy middle-of-the-road words? You may have more detailed descriptions. Maybe you're fond of lots of subplots. There might be scant character description or you have a minimalist approach to writing overall.

If you write a series, you'll want to make sure the character's voice remains consistent in each book, even though you might write them six months or a year apart.

Take a close look at the voice of your main character(s) at the beginning of the story, the middle, and the end. Do they sound like the same person. Yes, they've probably grown and changed a little, but they are still the same general person.

This is also true for those stories you start and then they sit on your hard drive for six years before you pick them back up and finish them. Odds are you'll need to do some character voice adjustments to make the beginning and end voices match up.

Same goes for your own voice in the case of that old story newly finished. We grow as writers over time. Hopefully we're learning things along they way, tweaking our style, picking up little things from books we're reading. Thy way you told a story, your author voice, six years ago, probably isn't the same one you have now.

I've read many a story that I had issues with, but I enjoyed the voice enough to keep reading to the end. Make sure you take the time to polish yours.

Have you read a story based solely on a great voice?


  1. I've been trying to get my memoir to sound as though I am really depressed, though when looking at me, this would not seem obvious.

    1. Depression isn't easy to see from the outside. Perhaps you could show how you appear to others and then also what is going on inside?

  2. My friends say that I write exactly like I talk. So if I decide to delve into non-fiction, it will be a fun adventure to attempt to give others a different voice. I certainly admire those who do it well.

    Emily | My Life In Ecuador | Vegetable Ivory - Tagua

  3. I recently finished drafting my first Middle Grade novel and found your Challenge Theme at the perfect time! I plan to re-read all your posts (probably several times) over the next few weeks as I work through the revision process.

    Journaling was my theme for the challenge
    Journaling: V is for Values and Beliefs

  4. There are books I'll keep reading in genres I don't normally read all because the voice is so intoxicating.

    So I completely agree with you. Voice can make up for a host of downfalls. Thanks for bringing this.

  5. It's the hardest thing to define because it's just kind of there. I think your voice gets refined the more experience you have. Definitely appreciate the tips here.

  6. Voice and consistency, this is a good food-for-thought post for me because I am preparing to start writing a longer piece then I am use to. This will be important for me.

    Thanks for visiting my post V for vagina

  7. Hi Jean - I've been surprised people have said 'I can hear your voice' ... even in Australia ... but I'm not sure I could translate that into a novel - yet the voice is there ... thanks for these great points here - a challenging one to change ... cheers Hilary


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