Exercises, writing

Finding Voice

Voice, in writing, is a one of the most powerful and unique tools a writer possesses. Although every writer has a voice, it varies from writer to writer. There may be similarities but it’s never exactly the same between two writers.

Finding your own voice as a writer is something that takes time however. Just as most of us edit and polish our stories to be the best they can be, developing voice takes work and effort to figure out our unique flair for story-telling.

The easiest way to find voice is by writing. And more writing. Along with some rewriting. One of my favorite exercises for this is retellings. Grab copies of some of your favorite fairy tales and retell them in your own style. Add in dialogue, detail and foreshadowing as you feel necessary. This gives you a chance to find your own personal taste in story content, which can help you in deciding what sort of scenes you need to learn to write and therefore, where your voice is likely to develop.

Another way might be by checking newspaper articles. Because of the limited space, a lot of paper articles are pretty much the bare facts. Try writing these into stories, and again add in the dialogue and details as you feel necessary. This is especially helpful if you’re looking to write non-fiction, mystery or crime since you’ll get a chance to test out your detective skills on the available information.

Writing challenges such as flash- or micro-fiction can also help you discover your voice. These extremely short pieces of work help you pick out the precise words to deliver the most impact because they’re usually less than a few hundred words.

Finally, consider Role Playing as a method to help. Many RPG’s are heavily based on the story-aspect. So go ahead and write down the grand adventures you go on in these games, just don’t forget to take out all the fortitude checks. As a bonus, building the campaigns for these games can often help with worldbuilding and plot development as well.


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