- Your writing voice (how you—your attitude, your personality, and your character—come across in your writing)
Holly Lisle describes voice in the following way: [When you write,] you have to put yourself on your page. This is what is known in the writing business as developing your voice. Voice isn't merely style. Style would be easy by comparison. Style is watching your use of adjectives and doing a few flashy things with alliteration. Style without voice is hollow. Voice is style, plus theme, plus personal observations, plus passion, plus belief, plus desire. Voice is bleeding onto the page, and it can be a powerful, frightening, naked experience.
- Your characters’ voice (what makes your characters unique and interesting)
In other words, what is it about your character and the way he/she views the world that makes the reader want to keep reading?Anyone can write a book, but not everyone is able to create a character the reader is invested in, one they want to follow all the way to the last page. And not everyone has a style of writing that readers connect with.
All is not lost though – we writers can work on improving our voice (the subject of another post perhaps). That’s a step we should leave for revisions though, not something to worry about while we’re writing our first draft.
How about you: Which do you think is more important when you read/write a manuscript, writing voice or the character’s voice? Do you have any tips for strengthening voice in a manuscript?