For one of my last assignments for composition, I had to write about what I think my 'writing voice' sounds like. So here is what I came up with after going back and rereading several things I've written over three years. My feelings are not hurt if you don't understand all of it...this was free-writing, so I wasn't even worried if things were spelled wrong. Imaginary Friend, Dust, The Tower Princess, Rapunzel Rapunzel, Cheesepuff, and Hot Air Balloon are all titles of things I've written, either poems, short stories, or novels. Maybe enjoy...if not, just know this is like an inside look at my brain.
Something I definitely notice about my writing is REPETITION. From the repetition of phrases (Imaginary Friend, Dust, The Tower Princess [at the beginning]) to repetition of themes, such as curses, family problems, deep-rooted desires, popular older brothers you can’t compete with (My first two NaNo stories could have been morphed together without any issue)...stuff like that. I have things on my heart that stick, and so everything I write ends up having the same feelings, themes, ideas. I don’t know if that’s a bad thing. Maybe it means I’m just a one-hit wonder and once I get it perfect I’ll have to quit.
My writing voice sounds like the books I read (particular Gordon Korman, oddly enough. I’m thinking about Schooled, and I definitely see things there.), movies I watch (if dialogue inspires me I adapt it), conversations I have with people (mostly family). It all sounds so WANNABE. Its not particularly unique, but it does sound like me. I have more than one voice, but I’m not sure how many. I always have this angsty feel to what I write. Rapunzel, Rapunzel was an angst-fest. But that was one of my earliest books. I wish I could find my REALLY old novels that were basically Eragon knock-offs, just to see how far I’ve come.
My writing voice has changed by becoming more refined. I write things correctly, without five exclamation points or ALL CAPS WITH WORDS WRITTEN LIKE THIIIIISSSSSS TO ADD EMPHASIS WHERE NONE IS REALLY NEEDED ANYWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gosh, I feel like I’m reading Cheesepuff when I look at that sentence!
Since I don’t really know what my writing voice IS, its hard for me to say what parts ‘don’t sound like me’. Any part that’s really steamy or romantic often comes off cliche because I’m trying to write things I’ve never experienced, without consulting anyone who has. Movies are the LAST place to look for reality, that’s one thing I definitely know. I can’t access my Hot Air Balloon story right now, but I feel like that might be the best place to find ‘my voice’. Anyway....I know I use too many adverbs (anyone else notice how many times I use the word definitely in this?), not enough adjectives that actually work, and I rely too much on straight out TELLING the reader what is happening. I can show with words, but its best to use as few words as possible. I also struggle with making verbs work the way that they’re supposed to. I misuse them.
I know I’ve written to please an audience, and it just sounds pained. It’s like a dying whale gasping for breath even though it knows its a goner. I am only successful at writing when I have something to say, I know roughly what I WILL say, and I have time and resources to help me say it as clearly as possible.
Reasons I shift into another voice? I hate the one I'm using. I will scrap pages of something if my main character starts off whiney I hate whiney main characters. I myself, the main character of my life, am pretty darn whiney, so they get it honestly.
Oh, I also say 'I Think' and 'I Believe' more than should be legal in one essay.