Holding on to your voice

I’m not a published novelist yet. Someday I will be, but until then I’m just a student, trying to learn as much about the writing business and craft as possible. But I think sometimes I do too much reading on how to get published rather than the actual writing that will get me there. Anymore I’ve gotten so focused on all the mechanics of it that I think I’ve been ignoring the actual art and craft.

And I guess I just randomly remembered something yesterday. There really are no new stories.

It’s one of those things you know, but it’s easy to forget when you pick up a writer like Patrick Rothfuss or Suzanne Collins. Such amazing writers! They have such a different style and voice and perspective that it makes you feel like you’re reading something new, when in actuality all you’re experiencing is their unique personality brought to life on a page.

And that’s what makes a story new or unique or refreshing. The author’s voice.

Nobody can write something like I can. Nobody can write something like you can. Because we’re different people. We’ve lived different lives and seen different things and experienced different events that have shaped the way we look at the world. And the key is learning how to capture that individuality and work it into a manuscript.

The trouble with my own personal voice, though, is that it’s just a little unusual. But isn’t that good? Unusual voices stand out, don’t they? Well, I’m afraid mind stands out a bit too much.

But I think I’m done trying to correct it. Maybe it’s not wrong to begin with. Maybe it’s just not time yet.

And then I found this really interesting posting on agent Kristin Nelson’s Pub Rants blog. Her blog is a great resource to begin with, but this post was fascinating.

In any case, I’ve decided that I’m just going to stop picking at all the little details. Just because the silly manuscript hasn’t been accepted anywhere yet doesn’t mean it won’t ever be accepted. Maybe the rest of the world just needs to prepare itself for my strange, unique individuality. =)

In any case, I’ve got my voice. It took me long enough to find it, so I think I’ll hold on to it for a while. Maybe it’s a bad idea. Maybe not. Time will tell.


A.C. Williams

Amy Williams left a lucrative career in marketing to write novels about space cowboys, clumsy church secretaries, American samurai, and alternate dimensions. Along the way, she also discovered a passion for teaching other creative professionals how to use technology to make life easier. Through video instruction or one-on-one coaching, she teaches software, blogging, basic graphic design, and many other useful skills that help creative entrepreneurs get stuff done minus the frustration.

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