Yes folks, Voice Week is back—and we’ve got less than two months to get ready for it.
What is Voice Week?
Voice Week is the time the InMonsters (and anyone else who wants to join in) all step outside the voices we are used to and try writing something new. We’ll each write five different 100-word pieces—each piece told in a different voice. We’ll post a piece a day, Monday through Friday, in the first week of October. Then we’ll hop around to each other’s blogs, reading, commenting, learning, and offering constructive criticism. There’ll also be a prize or two awarded to randomly-selected voice writers (exact prize(s) to be announced soon).
What is voice?
Voice is the personality infused into your writing—from the words you choose, to the structure and rhythm of your sentences, and other little details, like whether you add accents or grammatical errors on purpose. Different narrators have different voices. An old man will choose different words and arrange them differently than a teenage girl will.
Why do I need a unique voice?
Your voice sets you apart from every other writer. Voice is the quickest way to help your readers get to know your narrator—and it’s more effective than exposition. Voice is one of the biggest ways you show (don’t tell) your narrator’s personality. An intriguing or amusing voice can keep readers reading even when not much is happening with the plot.
Why do I need to practice different voices?
Your voice may change depending on the story you are writing. Maybe your novel is a brooding literary piece, but you’re also writing a short adventure story that requires a whimsical wit. Even if you don’t cross genres, your protagonists may be different. A boy or a girl, an adult or a child. An angel or an alien. A person from the seventeenth century or the twenty-seventh. They all require different voices. The more unique and authentic, the better.
But what if I write in third person?
All narrators have voice, whether they are characters in the story or not. Think of your favorite third-person writers and how different they sound from one another. Is the tone dark, or light? Clean and sharp, or thick and introspective?
How do I become a part of Voice Week?
- Leave a comment telling me you’re in! Be sure to include a link to your blog so I can add you to the Voice Week blogroll.
- Write something about 100 words long. You can use an InMon prompt, a Voice Week prompt, or even a piece you wrote a long time ago. HINT: It might be easier if it’s in first person, but it’s up to you.
- Rewrite that piece four times. Change the personality of the narrator each time. The goal is to write with five different voices. The benefit of using the same story/scene/situation is that we can focus on the difference in the voices. Whether you simply change the personality of the same character five times, or write the same scene from five different characters’ points of view, or only write similar situations happening to people in five different centuries—it’s all up to you.
- Come October 1, start posting, and link back to the Voice Week homepage with each post.
I need examples. How did Voice Week go last year?
I can’t wait to get started!
Comment below, and…
Stay tuned: in the weeks leading up to Voice Week, we’ll be digging deeper into voice, what it is, and how to find yours.