Voice is one of those things that's hard to pin down. It's rather like obscenity, I suppose: we know it when we see it. Good voice can carry a story, situate us in time and place and feeling so solidly that we are utterly transported.
Finding your own voice as a writer is hard; I know I certainly haven't mastered it. It's so easy to read something brilliant or moving or quirky and think, "Yes. That voice is perfect. That's what I want to do. That's how I want to write!"
And then I spend a few days trying to write like... whoever... before reverting back to the voice that just comes out naturally when I write. It changes, sure, from story to story and as I grow as a writer. But it's always the one that comes out in the end.
Okay, so I may not have a Margaret Atwood in me. I may not have a Neil Gaiman, or a Sarah Waters, or a Franny Billingsley (all writers who have, I think, distinct and interesting voices). I have me, when it comes down to it: just me.
I could spend years trying to hone my writing style so that I sound like Margaret Atwood, and you know what I would sound like? An imitation of Margaret Atwood. But I'm pretty sure she's got that covered. The Voice of Margaret Atwood is a void that was filled by... the voice of Margaret Atwood.
I have my own voice. That's the one the world has room for. That's the one I want to spend my time on.
Do you ever find yourself changing your voice to sound like someone else? What has your experience been?
One month. 26 posts. A to Z. (Don't know what I'm talking about? Check out the Challenge here.)