Voice is one of those things that took me forever to understand. I would listen to other writers talk about it, agents insist upon it, and often deny because a lack of it. I’d look at my own writing, reading it aloud and trying to inflect my voice into the characters. I felt like my Voice was there. Yet, sometimes I would get crits on “losing my voice” in areas. I’d scratch my head and still have no clue as to what they were talking about. I’d read and read. Still nothing. Then…BAM! Finally, it became clear. There are books, several actually, but this one for me…
You don’t have to be a fan of the book to appreciate the quality of voice evident in the writing. I easily read 75-100 books a year and I couldn’t understand the concept until now. There are others, obviously. But, within the first paragraph I felt I had a solid sense of character. Believe me, that’s pretty tough to do.
I thought voice had something to do with prose. Personally I’m not a huge fan of “purple” prose, or super flowery writing. I like writing that is direct and to the point and lets me do some of the imagining.
Now, when I read I can sense the Voice so much clearer than I had before. I don’t necessarily need to like the Voice every time, but at least I can recognize it and I can appreciate my own Voice too.