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 Is Your Story’s Voice Turning Away Readers? #WritingVoice

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Lora
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Is Your Story’s Voice Turning Away Readers? #WritingVoice Empty
PostSubject: Is Your Story’s Voice Turning Away Readers? #WritingVoice   Is Your Story’s Voice Turning Away Readers? #WritingVoice EmptyTue Jul 29, 2014 2:56 pm

JULY 23, 2014 by K.M. WEILAND | @KMWEILAND 35 COMMENTSNARRATIVE


Is Your Story’s Voice Turning Away Readers?


A story’s voice is always a hot topic among writers. What is it? How does it work? How can you get one? The difficulty in teaching about a story’s voice is that it’s one of those “you know it when you see it” things. Recently, I encountered a powerful example of voices that work—and voices that don’t.

This is a tale of two books. Neither were in “my” genres. One was suspense; the other was romance. But, for various reasons, both ended up on my Kindle. I started the romance first, because it appealed to me a bit more.Sadly, I barely made it past the first chapter and I finally gave up on it—something I do to maybe only one out of a hundred books.
Now a little grumpy and disillusioned, I clicked over to the second book, rather expecting to be disappointed once again. But this time I was pleasantly surprised to be sucked in right from the first chapter.
What made the difference? Both books were by experienced authors. Both were getting good reviews. So why did one turn me off and the other pull me in?
You already know the answer: voice.
The first book’s voice was dull and flat. The protagonist’s personality wasn’t coming across at all. The author was telling readers what was happening and how the protagonist felt about it. The result was not only dry narrative, but also a character whose personality—what little she offered—came across unattractively.
Contrast that to the second book (which I ended up not liking for other reasons, but not because of its voice). The author used a first-person narrator, whose personality practically exploded off the page. Every sentence was in this character’s personal voice: snarky, cocky, wry. The author didn’t need to tell me who this character was because every carefully chosen word of the narrative was showing me.
Take a look at your story. Who’s telling it—you or your character? If the narrative doesn’t sound like your POV character’s personal voice, it’s time to dig a little deeper. And if your POV character’s personal voice doesn’t have a sound, that’s a sign he’s lacking in the personality department.
Here’s the surefire formula for a strong voice: find your character’s personality, then make sure that personality appears in every word of the narrative. If you can do that, your story’s voice will be sure to pull readers in rather than turning them away.

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God Bless, Lora  Nice Ta Meet Ya
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