|Posted by Kristen Hamilton on September 28, 2018 at 9:00 AM|
To determine what your writing voice is, take a look at your writing. What words do your readers use when describing your work? What do they like most about your stories? What common themes or messages are in your books? How do your books make readers feel?
Some Ground Rules . . .
There are 3 things that make up an author's "voice." An author's voice is a mix of the perspective that the author chooses to write in, the author's style, and the overall tone of the book.
1. Be concise. Don't ramble. Your most powerful writing—the writing that will make you most memorable—will be to the point. Having a level of description in your book is good, but when it takes the author 3 pages to say something that could be said in a paragraph, your writing is not concise enough. Trim it down to distill your writing. Be specific. An important part of showing versus telling, being specific means you'll use specific terms and exciting verbs. Be sure your ideas and main points are clear.2. Know your reader, and what resonates with them. Is your target reader a teenage girl, ages 14-17? If so, it's time to brush up on your use of slang words and understand what kids these days are talking about, thinking about, or doing. Readers will only connect with your work if they feel they are understood, and as the author, it's your job to ensure that you can speak to them effectively. The topics you discuss in your books—and your characters' understanding of these issues—should be aligned with your readers' ideals.3. Remember perspective, style, and tone. How are you using these to tell your stories? These may be difficult at first to master, but as you write, you'll find that you have a natural "voice." After you've published several books, readers will come to expect the same type of feeling they had when they read your previous work.
Want to learn more about how to build your author brand
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Book editor Kristen Hamilton is the owner and sole employee of
Kristen Corrects, Inc., where she provides manuscript editing
services for traditionally and self-publishing authors. Several
authors whose books she has edited have won awards and have
Reading is Kristen's passion, so when the workday is over, she
can usually be found curled up with a good book alongside her
four cats. She loves watching cat videos and scary movies,
eating pizza, teaching herself French, and traveling, and she is
likely planning her next vacation. She lives outside of Boise, ID.