Writing Voice (Story Engineering and Physics #6 of 12)

Part of a series of posts on story engineering based on the book of that title and its companion volume Story Physics.

Story Engineering & Story PhysicsHave someone begin reading to you from the middle of a book. See if you can tell who wrote it.

When you hear a familiar voice on the phone you know who it is before they’ve said anything significant. You recognize their voice.

When you read the opening words of a book, before anything happens, before it’s even clear what genre it is, you’re hearing the author’s voice.

Think of Dr. Seuss. Raymond Chandler. James Joyce. Those are extreme examples, but it’s impossible to deny their distinctive voices.

Consider Dan Brown, Maeve Binchy, Isaac Asimov, and J. R. R. Tolkien. Again, if you read their stuff, you could probably pick out a sample of their writing just because of how it sounds.

Voice is best when it comes naturally.

Most writers ruin their voice by failing that simple test: naturalness. … more … “Writing Voice (Story Engineering and Physics #6 of 12)”

I Don’t Write My Best Writing

original photo http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1406545 by Caesantana http://www.sxc.hu/profile/CaesantanaI dictate it.

Many of the authors I work with are concerned about whether or not their typing, spelling and grammar skills will get them through a 70,000 word book. It just doesn’t matter. “Writing” doesn’t have to mean writing.

The surest way to get your book or blog post finished is to use the method that’s easiest for you. If you type a thousand words a minute like Best Beloved does, you should type — if you enjoy it. If you prefer scribbling longhand in a notebook, do it. The extra step of having your work transcribed, whether by you or someone else, will probably take less time than struggling to use tools and methods that feel unnatural to you. Even if that’s not the case, using tools and methods that make you struggle diminishes your art.

When Best Beloved was too ill to work with me, writing was excruciating. I’ve been a writer and a coder most of my life. Just because I type 50 wpm doesn’t mean I like it.

… more … “I Don’t Write My Best Writing”