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I have often heard people speak about the 'writer's voice.' What exactly is it and how can I find my own?  

Dear Mo,

This is just a somewhat loose term that people use when referring to their particular style of writing; just as everyone has a certain way of speaking or walking, etc., we're also all different in that we have our own "voice" when writing.

It's a phrase that is tossed around in the industry quite a lot, similar to the phrase "the muse," as in: "Have you written a poem lately?" to which someone would answer, "No, the muse hasn't stopped by in quite some time," etc. It's just "lingo" that a person picks up.

You can only discover your own writing "voice" if you are in fact writing! It's an intangible thing; it's like comparing Hemingway to Fitzgerald; they largely wrote in the same genre and in the same time period, but the "voice" of each author is quite distinctly individual.

Another, more academic, meaning is often implied here, as well, such as when you're in a class, and the teacher asks, "What voice is this writer employing?" To this, one would reply, "The active voice," or "a deeply moody, dark, intense, depressed tone takes over; the voice becomes mellow, then almost indistinct."

I hope this helps answer your question! There are really many meanings to "the voice," none of which is very easy to explain!

Thanks for writing --

All Best,
Catherine Van Herrin  

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Catherine Van Herrin


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