Finding Your Writing Voice

At every conference I’ve attended, the process to find your unique voice has been hammered into my head like a railroad spike. The question is, how do you find your voice?

Great question, fellow writer.

The answer? Write. A lot. Keep writing. Copy other writers until you find your unique voice. Simple? Nope.

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When I started writing my yet-to-be-published novel in 2008 (yup, eight years ago), I wanted to write like Rosamind Pilcher. Beautiful, flowing descriptions. British accents galore. When I read my first few chapters back, out loud, it sounded phony. Definitely not my style. Not my voice.

I tried emulating Francine Rivers. I read her books and copied her voice. That didn’t work either.

It took thousands of words and countless hours to find my voice. Experts say to reach success, it takes ten thousand hours. A quick calculation of ten thousand divided by eight years, yields 1,250 hours per year. Divided by 365 is approximately 3 ½ hours per day. Think on that while you read on.

Below are three examples from some random authors. See if you can determine which one is Anne Lamott:

Example # 1:

People rarely took any notice of the tongue-tied and sadly inhibited Missy Wright, but Una, as the new assistant was named, had seemed instantly to detect in Missy the stuff of a good friend.

Example # 2:

The next morning, Elizabeth was on her knees weeding in the flower bed near Rosie’s window, impatiens and columbine. Rosie discovered this when she threw her window open, her room already hot and bright with sunshine. She said hello to her mother, and her mother answered, “Hello, darling. What are your plans for today?

Jeez, Rosie thought, it was like living with a secret agent.

Example #3:

Monday mornings had never been FBI Special Agent Savannah Barrett’s favorite day. Lawbreakers did their best work during the weekend. She stared at the crime report on her computer. Another Houston church burned during the night. This was her city, her responsibility, and the fourth church torched in the past two months.

Which one do you think sounds most like Anne Lamott? If you picked number two, you are correct. Her voice combines beautiful descriptions, gritty dialog, and snarky undertones. The paragraph is from her novel Imperfect Birds.

Have you grasped the enormity of what it takes to find your voice? Does the thought of 3 ½ hours a day for 8 years scare you? I hope not.

Jane S. Daly, Christian Author

I’ll be teaching an entire workshop on finding your voice at the West Coast Christian Writers Conference, February 17 and 18 in Pleasanton, CA. Hope to see you there!

For more information on my books and my blog, please visit www.janeSdaly.com.

Jane is the author of two nonfiction books, Because of Grace (2015 Hallway) and The Caregiving Season (2016 Focus on the Family/Tyndale). She makes her home in northern California.

08/27/2016
9:00 am - 2:00 pm August 2016 Get Inspired Workshop
River City Christian Church, Rancho Cordova CA
Event: August 2016 Get Inspired Workshop
Venue: River City Christian Church
Location: 10933 Progress Court
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
USA
Public: Public

FREE Workshop for Children’s Book Writers

7 Steps to Publishing Your Children’s Book

Have you ever dreamed of publishing your children’s book?

Marci Seither - Author Photo by Ocean - June 2014Whether you’re seeking traditional publishing or self-publishing your book, you won’t want to miss this FREE workshop, 7 Steps to Publishing Your Children’s Book, hosted by Marci Seither.

Marci has written hundreds of articles for local and national publications, including Guideposts magazine.

She is also the author of The Adventures of Pearly Monroe (2014), Empty Nest: Strategies to Help Your Kids Take Flight (2014) and Pumper John.

She’ll be joined by several local authors, dedicated to equipping and encouraging writers, as they share seven steps to publishing your own children’s book. 

 

DATE:            Saturday, January 23, 2016

TIME:             2-4pm

PLACE:          El Dorado County Library

7455 Silva Valley Parkway

El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

 

Be prepared to learn and be inspired!

 

Supercharge Your Writing Using Cinematic Techniques

It’s time to Get Inspired!

susanne lakin

Our guest speaker for this month’s Get Inspired workshop is award-winning author, Susanne Lakin. Susanne will teach fiction and nonfiction writers how to use cinematic techniques to enhance our writing. Join us for this informative and fun workshop! Free for Inspire members. Non-members pay only $15 at the door.
shoot your novel

Join us for the Get Inspired Workshop

Saturday, October 17th

9:30am to Noon

Oasis Christian Mission Center

10255 Old Placerville Rd #1, Sacramento, CA 95827