I didn’t find it, but my readers did! My voice, that is – not my speaking voice, but my writing voice.
I started out like most authors probably do, trying to make my writing prim and proper, according to everything I had learned in school, then found that all I have to do is write like I speak and follow it up with a great deal of editing (the most important part of any writing).
Several years ago, I purchased a book called finding your voice (how to put personality in your writing), by Les Edgerton. Although I read it faithfully from cover to cover, some of it made little sense to me at the time, maybe because my poems and children’s stories were already being published and favorably reviewed by critics other than family and friends. I was fairly confident that my style (also referred to in Edgerton’s book) was okay; however, I wondered at the thought of finding my own voice. I didn’t have a clue as to what it should sound like and doubted that I would ever find it, much less that I would know it once I did find it. So I went on writing in my already-accepted style, giving little, if any, thought to voice.
It was during the publication of my first book that my writing voice was found – not by me, but by an editor who happily remarked, “I’ve read a bit of your book [Snaps, Scraps & Snippets of the Past and Present] and it’s just darling. LOVE your voice!” And with further reading, she added, “After a while of reading your book, I found myself ‘listening’ for the voice. It’s hard to explain, but that’s the effect your book had on me, that you and I were sitting down somewhere, chatting. Excellent. Very engaging style.”
Every writer can only hope that his or her style and voice will be recognized and commented on by a busy but responsive editor.
For more about my books, Snaps, Scraps & Snippets of the Past and Present: How to Retrieve the Lost Pictures of Your Past, and Light for the Burning Soul: Sparks, Flames, and Embers, please visit my website at http://loisjfunk.com. Both books are available in paperback, Kindle, and Nook, through amazon.com and bn.com.