Discover Your Writer’s Voice

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I attended a writer’s workshop, and it altered the way I see myself as a writer when it comes voice. Don’t you love when that happens? I had the opportunity to sit under Professor Balcarcel, who reminded writers how complicated and elusive it is to find your unique voice. What makes it complicated and elusive is there isn’t a clear, concrete definition of what voice is. So, if we cannot narrow it down to a condensed explanation, how do we learn to do it? Well, there is hope. Professor Balcarcel explained how certain aspects of voice assist us in discovering our own. First, let’s explore what voice is not.

Voice is not taking another author’s style and attempting to make it your own.

I am guilty of this. She reminded us voice has nothing to do with how you can break or butcher the rules of grammar and sentence structure. Guilty as charged. Professor Barcarcel did provide focus on the genetic makeup of voice.

First, your unique makeup is key to finding your voice.

In other words, your values, your beliefs, your goals are fingerprints to your voice. This uniqueness happens when you focus on yourself, your values, your goals, your character traits. If you are a spiritual person, there should be aspects of your writing that reflect such.

Secondly, she attempts to define voice as this, “your voice is the combinations of words and word choices you bring that no one else would think of.”

For the scholarly writers, syntax and diction are what creates voice. It means staying away from clique sentence stems and generic language we often see in writing. For example, “she stared with troubles eyes” or “he raised a brow,” or “her lips curled into a smirk.”She recommended incorporating traits in your writing which reflect what you are aspiring to. For me, that means creativity in word choice. I want to be bold when it comes to diction. If that means making a fool of myself sometimes, so be it. In addition, I aspire to add the trait of not giving a damn… not caring in my writing. I’m still working on that.

Lastly, your voice cannot be duplicated, and you must step out of your comfort zone to discover it.

You create your character’s voice the same way. You incorporate their background, their genetic makeup, their age, etc. It takes practice to find your voice and that of your characters.

To find your own voice, you have to go past imitations

Professor Balcarcel asked us to describe the night sky using the voice of a child. Here is mine.
“It is a big black thing with a whole bunch of little nightlights, and it has real big nightlight too. How come its so dark with so many nightlights?
Then, describe the night sky using the voice of an artist.
“There it is, blanketing my happiness with dark. Still, specs of it seep through, painting my life like a canvas.”

Lastly, describe the night sky using our own voice…
“It’s beautiful, comforting and opposite of what I’ve been taught. I’m supposed to be scared of it. I’m expected to pull the covers over my head and think myself safe. Yet, I stare it down with a crescent smile. The stars, they remind me that I can still myself in darkness.

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So, I challenge my fellow writers to discover your voice by stepping out of your comfort zone, ridding yourself of outer influences, and mediocre redundancies. Put your true self in your writing and make it original. Make it epic.
Start now, describe the sky using your own unique voice and post your entries below. Until next time….

 

Ebby LeBlanc

Dear Someone, Dear No one

kaepernick-kneeling1

Dear Someone, who cried out when Kaepernick didn’t stand for the anthem but remain mute about the 13 black people unjustly  killed by police since his protest
Dear No one, who believe that an armed trained individual has a right to fear for their life, but a black unarmed man, who has his hands up and is still being killed does not.
Dear Someone, who shouted #backtheblue, posted police shields as their profile pictures but didn’t utter a word about the black men killed unjustly that same week.
Dear No one.… your silence speaks louder than your spoken words and I hear you, they hear, we all hear. Just know this, You.are.part.of.the.problem

Sincerely,

A scared black woman who fears for the lives of her husband, father, brothers, son and black students

REBLOG:Mind your own womb

I had to reblog and share this because too many times people make comments and ask questions devoid of the pain behind them. Many times a woman not being pregnant YET is not her immediate choice. People may mean well, but should think twice before asking someone when they will have children, when will they will get married, when they will…you feel in the blank. This article explains clearly why you should think twice about asking those questions again and reiterates how its none of your business anyway.

Nadirah Angail

pregnant bellySomewhere there is a woman: 30, no children. People ask her, “Still no kids?” Her response varies from day to day, but it usually includes forced smiles and restraint.

“Nope, not yet,” she says with a chuckle, muffling her frustration.

“Well, don’t wait forever. That clock is ticking, ya know,” the sage says before departing, happy with herself for imparting such erudite wisdom. The sage leaves. The woman holds her smile. Alone, she cries…

Cries because she’s been pregnant 4 times and miscarried every one. Cries because she started trying for a baby on her wedding night, and that was 5 years ago. Cries because her husband has an ex-wife and she has given him children. Cries because she wants desperately to try in vitro but can’t even afford the deposit. Cries because she’s done in vitro (multiple rounds) and still has no children. Cries because her best friend wouldn’t…

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