The first day of the workshop for our on-line critique group, our workshop leader, Rose Green, gave us several links to articles and blogs. A couple of us “students” also shared a link or two. We read the dozen or so articles, then discussed what we learned. Here are a few of my highlighted insights.
Learned from Margot Finke on Harold Underdown’s site: There are two voices in writing – the author’s voice and character voice. This was brilliant, and finally made some things clear to me. Articles I’d read had to do with one or the other, making me confused as to what this voice was which everyone was talking about. Margot simply informed the reader me that sometimes an agent/editor/author may be speaking about author voice, and sometimes they may be speaking about character voice. Huge lightbulb turned on for me.
Learned from Editor Caroline Meckler, from Tabitha Olsen’s blog: Voice is the expression of the content, consisting of various elements, including diction, detail, imagery, syntax, and tone. This has to do with author voice, previously might be known as style.
Learned from Editor Cheryl Klein: Play with masks. Put on the mask of one of your characters and write in that character’s voice for a while, whether s/he is the MC or not.