Monday, July 20, 2009

Keeping Your Writer's Voice

Yesterday afternoon, I had lunch with my best friend Sandi. While we were digging into our sesame chicken and my chicken and broccoli (that's right, I like steamed broccoli), she posed an interesting question to me.

She asked these questions. 'Writers read a lot. How do you keep your own voice while reading other writers' work? Are you influenced with the style of other writers? How do you have your own style and not the style of others?'

I set my fork down, and paused a moment to ponder. All I could say in the moment was I write what I visualize in my mind. I see the picture of the character and the scene and write it down. It just comes naturally and I strive NOT to ever imitate any author.

How do you keep your own voice?
Has your writing style been influenced by the style of others?
How would you describe your style?


Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rita -

Great questions. I read a wide-range of books. Trying to write like another author is like squeezing into too-tight jeans. The real you is going to bulge out somewhere.

It's much easier to learn your craft and write the way you'd tell a story.

Susan :)

Jessica said...

Wonderful questions. I love Susan's analogy too. I hope I don't ever copy another's voice, but sometimes I'm worried because I have a very photographic memory when it comes to words and sentences.
I think I have my own voice, but possibly it's a melding of voices I've read?
Great question to think about.

Dina Sleiman said...

I like to really drench myself in authors I love just before I work on something important. I usually reread some Francine Rivers and Philippa Gregory, but I'm adding Julie Klassen to my list.

Golden said...

After I wrote a love scene in my first novel, "In The Shadow Of The Sun King," I realized that I had closely followed the love scene from one of my favorite movies, "The Age Of Innocence." So I had to go back and rewrite it. But I agree with Susan's answer that one's personality and voice will bulge out somewhere. And we have to keep crafting that voice until it is distinctive.

Great question.