Writer’s Voice

I’m confused with conflicting ‘advice’ I read from writers who teach other writers (or at least other writers read their advice articles.) This is my thinking:

The first thing I often read is to cut unnecessary words from sentences and make them as brief as possible. I agree with unnecessary wordiness, but I think the way people talk is personal, and cutting it down too much takes the writers Voice away from telling their story.

These days many writers choose to write from the first person perspective. In other words the main character is telling the story and using I. The story is mostly personal from inside their head—what they’re thinking, or the interactions the character has with others. I quite like this, probably because I’m a person who lives in my head a lot, so I relate to it. The reader learns about whatever the central theme of the story is from the perspective of the protagonist. It might well be skewed and not present events from different perspectives, but at least you understand the way the protagonist sees them and their thinking.

Regional dialects may also require non-standard English and probably extra words, to be authentic.

I like stories that don’t give too much fine detail, for example, great long descriptions of the characters—such as the way they look, their background history and so forth. In my head I create an image of a character and tweak it as bits of information are dropped into the story as it progresses. I don’t want to know it up front. Nor great long descriptions of the context, unless it is relevant to the scene. This explains why I’m often disappointed when I see a film of a story I read, because the actors cast don’t look anything like what my brain generated while I read the book.

What do you think?

About Caroline Scott Collins

Writer - Creates believable escapism Caroline dreamed of writing and publishing and finally, in 2021, she achieved her goal by publishing her debut novel, A Charming Bequest. She believes it’s important to offer her readers enjoyment and believable escapism with her stories, which she sincerely hopes she does.
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