Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A to Z Blogging Challenge: V is for...

For my entries in the 2012 A to Z Challenge, I will be focusing on writing elements that I find important and that I want to incorporate into my work.

Today, the topic is VOICE.

All this month, as part of the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge, I've been hitting on topics that I would like to include in my writing – Characterization, Plot, Rhythm, good Editing, an appropriate Lexicon, and all the others. I want to stir all these elements together into a literary stew and pour it out into gripping stories that capture and connect with my reader.

But there's also this other little thing: I want it to sound like me.

I'm not the best guitar player in the world -- not the fastest; not the flashiest. But when I hear a recording of something I've played on, I can instantly tell that I was the one playing the guitar. For better or worse, I sound like me.

I want that to happen with my writing, too.

I want to have a unique voice that is immediately identifiable. I want my readers to recognize my work even if they didn't happen to see my name on the cover or the by-line.

A certain rhythm in the wording, a certain turn of phrase, a unique spin to the characters – for better or worse, I want all my writing to sound like me.

Not to sound the same, of course. I dabble in different genres and my style for a dark noir mystery would be different than how I would write a humorous, light, and quirky piece. But regardless of genre, I want to have a definite style which comes through and says, “Chris Fries wrote this.”

I think all the successful artists have a distinct, unique, identifiable style – that is part of the reason I would call them successful, regardless of how famous or financially well-off they became. People instantly recognize their work. Others may copy them, but they remain special.

As a writer, I may never be famous, or widely-read, and I may never make a dime from my writing. But if I develop a unique voice that instantly lets my reader know, "Chris Fries wrote this," then I think I will have achieved a certain level of suceess as a writer.

So what do you think? How important is to you to have a unique voice?

Thanks for visiting -- see you the rest of this month for more alphabetical fun!

Don't forget to visit HERE to see all the bloggers taking part in this A-to-Z challenge, and try to drop in on as many of them as you can!


.jessica. said...

A to Z jinx! :)

Voice is why I go back to the authors I love. The stories change, the characters, the setting, but you always know what you're getting with voice. When an author's voice resonates with me, I find that it does so across stories.

I want a voice like that!

DL Hammons said...

I think you are 100% correct. Our distinctive voice sets us apart from others, but it is so hard to define what that is. It needs to flow naturally and cannot be forced, or else we risk sounding like a cheap knock off of somebody else.

Great topic!! :)

Nicole said...

I think voice is really what we're attracted to as readers. As writers, it's so important to capture our own voice!

Guilie said...

Fellow writer, A-Z-er, and new follower :) Can't agree more, Chris--finding one's voice is probably what makes or breaks our careers in authorhood. We all have one, and I think it changes over time, too, but the crux--at least for me--is discovering it, and then being faithful to it. We're all influenced by the stuff we read, by authors we admire, by how-to books or seminars. That's all fine and dandy, but *our* voice, our unique way of saying things, of portraying characters, of plot design and the nuances that make it happen... It's there, under the trappings.

Great post, and thanks for sharing!

Chris Fries said...

@jessica: Great minds think alike, lol! ;^)

I hear you -- that's what I want, too!

@DL: Absolutely! Thanks for the visit and the comment, D-Bone!

@Nicole: I absolutely agree -- it is vitally important.

@Guilie: Thank you very much for the visit, comment and follow! I agree with everything you say. A unique voice is vitally important and one of the things I really want to develop, but the good thing is that I think it develops naturally, the more we write -- at least that's the way it's seemed with me.