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Get Motivated: Make Your Voice Heard!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

One of the things that can be hardest for beginning fiction writers to grasp is that they must develop a voice that is unique, and natural to them. One of your main jobs, throughout your writing life (it doesn’t necessarily come easy, or soon, or ever stop changing) is to discover and/or develop that voice. It might not be the same as your speaking voice. It is the unique way you have of expressing yourself in the written word, and the more straightforward and honest you are in the words and sentences you put on the page, the more your voice will shine through. For the most part, this means forgetting about using big words, complex sentence structures, ornate language, unless that comes naturally to you. . . .

The goal is to find your voice, the voice that isn’t like everyone else’s. And this is a very difficult thing to do, for the plain reason that we have mostly spent our lives trying to fit in. Mostly, we don’t want to be noticed because we’re different. We want to make sure that we dress appropriately, speak appropriately, act appropriately. Well, creative writing is the one area where you don’t want to be “appropriate.” Appropriate is for dinner parties. This is the place where the things that make you weird, the things about yourself that you know are different and even difficult, count the most.

~Alice LaPlante
The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Creative Writing
p. 37

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