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  • Writer's pictureMegan DiMaria

Understanding Author Voice, part three

*This is part three in a series. View parts one and two. I hope you’re enjoying the different samples of author voice we're including in this series.

Remember, author voice is the way in which an author tells a story: word and phrase choices, sentence and chapter length, and the author's distinct world view.

Here are a few more distinctive voices to share with you.

The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner

I've heard the story countless times, how I grasped the delivering doctor's scrubs as he guided me into the Durough family universe of opportunity and duty. My father likes to say I came out of my mother's body insistent on being taken seriously, declaring to the doctor who held my slippery limbs that I was no helpless female unable to gorge her way through the world of men.

I think you'll agree that Ms. Meissner definitely has her own distinctive voice. I love to get lost in her beautiful, lyrical style.

Paper Hearts by Courtney Walsh

"I can''t believe she did this to me again." Abigail Pressman stared at the computer screen in disbelief. Her own photo stared back, her pasted-on smile frozen in time.

"I can't believe you still own a pair of overalls." Mallory leaned down over her should, eyes wide at Abigail's most recent public humiliation. "Not flattering."

"Understatement." Abigail covered her face with her hands.

The four other dating websites were bad enough, but one exclusively for farmers? Abigail sighed. "I'll never recover from this one."

Elizabeth "Teensy" Pressman had two goals in life: first, to marry off all her children; and second, to have lots of grandbabies. It seemed the woman would stop at nothing until both were accomplished.

One thing I love about Courtney Walsh's novels is her use of humor in romance stories. Her stories grab you from the first page and take you on a sweet, romantic adventure.

Here are a few tips on how you can develop your unique voice:

  1. Read, read, read—fiction, non-fiction, in your genre, out of your genre.

  2. Write, write, write—don’t limit yourself to one particular type or genre of writing. Experiment. Write letters, blogs, dreams, and greeting cards

  3. Copy—sit down and copy the voice of an author you admire or whose work is distinctive. You will always put your own spin on the style, incorporating your worldview and your own tone of language.

  4. Limit yourself—write only 140-character thoughts. Twitter challenges you to write your thoughts in only 140 characters, you must be able to distill the essence of what you’re communicating. It helps you to boil down your language to the most meaningful idea.

Visit my blog again next Tuesday for the rest of the list.


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