I completed a really cool interview over at 52Reviews, and there I answered a question about voice, and the answer, I think, may be of some use to readers here. Go check out the interview, as I talk a bit about writing craft and The Blue Blazes and also about pointing guns at ponies. (Don’t worry, the pony is still alive. Sheesh.)
Anyway, here’s that quote on voice:
“Every author decides to go on a grand adventure one day, and that grand adventure is to find her voice. She leaves the comfort of her own wordsmithy and she traipses through many fictional worlds written by many writers and along the way she pokes through their writings to see if her voice is in there somewhere. She takes what she reads and she mimics their voices, taking little pieces of other authors with her in her mind and on the page.
Is her voice cynical? Optimistic? Short and curt, or long and breezy? She doesn’t know and so she reads and she writes and she lives life in an effort to find out.
This adventure takes as long as it takes, but one day the author tires of it and she comes home, empty-handed, still uncertain what her voice looks like or sounds like.
And there, at home, she discovers her voice is waiting. In fact, it’s been there all along.
Your voice is how you write when you’re not trying to find your voice. Your voice is the way you write, the way you talk. Your voice is who you are, what you believe, what themes you knowingly and unknowingly embrace.
Your voice is you.
Search for it and you won’t find it. Stop looking and it’ll find you.”