I thought I was clever enough to write as well as these people and I didn't realize that there is something called originality and your own voice. – Amy Tan
The best definition I found for writing voice was from the article "Finding Your Voice "by Susan J. Letham on Write101.com. She says:
“In writing, voice is the way your writing 'sounds' on the page. It has to do with the way you write, the tone you take—friendly, formal, chatty, distant—the words you choose—everyday words or high-brow language—the pattern of your sentences, and the way these things fit in—or not—with the personality of the narrator character and the style of your story.”
I’ve grown comfortable with my voice. I don’t think about it when I'm writing. Though my books and short stories are all different, I feel it's obvious they were all written by the same person—or I did.
Recently an article in huffingtonpost.com, “I Write Like’ Website Goes Viral, Authors Bewildered,” by Jake Coyle, caught my attention. The article discusses the I Write Like site, which analyzes your writing style. It’s quite simple—paste a few paragraphs and click. Within seconds an “I write like” badge appears.
According to the article, a transcript of one of Mel Gibson’s rants was analyzed as the style of Margaret Atwood. Margaret’s own sample came back as Stephen King. Though these examples showed the system wasn’t perfect, I couldn't resist trying it out.
For fun I submitted the first few paragraphs of my first book, The Ride, my not yet released book, Reigning Cats and Dogs, and my current WIP. I evidently have more voices in my head than I ever dreamed.
My badge for The Ride was Vladimir Nabokov of Lolita fame, for Reigning Cats and Dogs, it was Stephen King and for the WIP, Dan Brown's name popped up.
Now while I find it flattering that my writing could be compared to any one of these writers, I was surprised that all three samples came back with different authors. When I first decided to try my hand at writing a novel, I had something Stephen Kingish in mind. However, it didn’t take me long to realize horror was not my genre; I didn’t have a mind like King; and my writing style was totally different.
If I sat around and thought long enough, maybe I could come up with an “I write like” badge for myself. Though I’m not quite sure which famous writer my style resembles, I'm fairly certain it’s no one in this illustrious trio.
If you want to have a little fun, you can go to the I Write Like site here. If you’re having trouble finding your voice or would like to read more on the topic, you might try these links:
Finding Your Voice, Write101.com
How to Find Your Voice, Men with Pens
How to Find a Voice as a Writer, eHow.com
How to Find your Writing Voice, Bukisa.com
Vintage: Finding Your Writer’s Voice, Tumblemoose.com
Have you found your voice? Can you idenify an author by the way they write? Have you tried the I Write Like site? If so, which writing badge or badges did you receive?
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope to see you again next Monday.
Tags: Amy Tan, finding your voice, finding your writing voice, Stephen King, Dan Brown, Vladimir Nabokov, I write like, The Ride,Reigning Cats and Dogs ,Margaret Atwood, Mel Gibson,