Finding your own voice, by James Wadman

The most important subjective element to a story, other than the story itself, is your voice as a writer. Far more important than showing intelligence through vocabulary or trying to impress others with sophisticated syntax, your voice is what shows a reader your imperfections. It should be that your voice is what permits you to be a C- English student, to choose simple words over the complex, and to just be yourself as the narrator to your own universe.

Finding your own voice should not be a conscious effort, though there are reasons why you might want to identify which type of voice and why for a particular story at some point in the writing process. A forced voice often comes off technical, which is absolutely wonderful if you are trying to write a lab report or review an essay for a school paper. My best argument for why you would want to consciously identify your narrator’s voice is that it is essential to be consistent with your voice within the story. A wavering voice can depict an uncertainty to the reader about who the writer really is, which can detract from the reader’s relationships with the story and the characters – but hey, it could also be brilliant!

In the context of my novel, Diamondis, the narrator assumes the role of a nearly omnipotent voice. This means that I can peer into the thoughts and feelings of my characters with very little limitations. In fact, at certain times the narrator can even foreshadow events that have not yet occurred or elucidate the emotions of characters that the characters themselves don’t fully understand. This is essential for the structure of the story, given that most of the novel takes place within a second of time inside the mind of my main character, Tomas. The omnipotent voice also gives me the freedom to feel for my characters, even if that means taking a bias for their wellbeing.

If you are a writer, do you identify aspects of your voice as the narrator? If so, how would you describe your voice? Through what process did you find your own voice?

 

The Writer’s Voyage is a series that describes my writing process. To my benefit, it serves as a method of reflection during a time of writer’s block. I hope to shed light on the imperfections of my writing style to provoke honest discussions about the blood, sweat, and tears involved with writing. Finally, it is my intention to prove that a writer has no objective form and that anyone with a story to tell can be successful in the craft of literature. There should be no restrictive boundaries for what constitutes a writer, so long as one writes with passion and purpose.

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