Skip to main content

Author’s Voice: An Acquired Taste

It is difficult to pinpoint what creates an author’s voice in a piece of writing, but it is identifiable.

It’s a flavor, a fingerprint, a signature.

It takes more than knowing all the ingredients to create it.  It takes lots of practice and an innate skill.

When my grandmother passed away, we all tried replicating some of her signature dishes.  We knew the ingredients.  We even knew the measurements. Though they turned out good, they weren’t exactly like hers. We lacked her skill, her “fingerprint.”  

When my three-year-old grandson declared Leslie Patricelli as his favorite author, I understood completely. He was identifying with her topics (genre), subjects a little one could enjoy; and he loved the way she said it on paper (voice), using words and images he understood or could envision.

I feel the same way about my favorite authors.  

In good writing, the words and sentences voice the author’s images. There is a cleverness, a freshness in the detail and in the manner how it is said. We get the metaphors.  We feel the emotions. We look forward to the nonconformity and the rebellious non-cliché. We form a camaraderie with the author’s personality. The pacing and the plotting are at our speed, and the mood creates a tone our blood pressure can handle.

Comments

  1. Good post as a gentle reminder that we each have our own "voice" and we don't need to copy anyone else. That way it will sound true.

    I plan on coming to the CWG meeting for the first time tonight. Can you give me the details as what your meetings cover? Do I bring something to critique? Just leave the details on my blog at TheWriteChris.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Christian Writers Group is not meeting tonight March 12 because of Spring Break and because we hosted a conference this past weekend. Please come next Monday and you do not bring anything for the first two meetings. Just yourself. Hope to see you thee.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Finding My Muse

1)Because my muse has a wicked sense of humor and visits me at odd times and in inconvenient places, I have learned to record inspirations/ideas immediately before I forget them or they dissolve into nothing. I carry small notebooks, own a digital recorder, and have been known to text messages home. I will scribble on anything – old napkins I find in my glove compartment or old receipts. I even pop out of bed in the middle of the night to jot things on sticky pads. 2)Calendars are great places to find topics. I use important dates, seasons, and upcoming holidays to plan blog posts. I can also go back into my work calendar to refresh my memory about meetings, conferences, or books I have read that might be worth sharing with others.   3)I will sit with a good cup of coffee, pen and paper ready, and read the newspaper searching for topics, interesting characters, or modern trends.  News channels and other newsfeeds are just as good.   4)I love to read the TV and movie guides for titles and…

The Girl Who Eats Canned Spinach

I went to a Catholic elementary school run by strict Belgian nuns, and we could not leave the cafeteria until we ate everything served on our food tray. Once a week, they served warmed, canned spinach with our meal. The spinach tasted nothing like the way my grandmother made it, but I ate it. I gulped it down in three or four bites and it amazed my table mates. I told them we ate it at home so I was used to the taste. Now, my real problem began the day I ate the spinach off my friends’ trays so we could go play outside. As soon as the nun monitoring the cafeteria turned her back, my friends ate something off my tray I didn’t want, and I ate their serving of spinach. I only did it for two of my table mates, but the word spread. On the next Spinach Day, kids followed me to my table.I was suddenly very popular, and as soon as the nun marched off to the other end of the cafeteria, my friends and an army of others who only knew me as The Girl Who Eats Spinach, begged me to take their servin…

Facing My Fear of Guns

With the ownership of firearms comes responsibility, so I had asked HoneyBunch several times to teach me how to shoot and to help me get my License to Carry. I got my wish two weeks ago. HB and I signed up to take a LTC class. He bought me a gun, one similar to his, that would be the type we needed to show shooting proficiency, and for one whole week he tried to get me to become familiar with it, but I was hesitant. I read the booklet that came with the gun. I practiced loading and shooting it in what is called dry shooting (no bullets), and since the flyer said I would have to shoot thirty shots at different distances, I finally tried with it loaded. I was a nervous wreck. The class of twelve turned out to be close to forty people. We were of all ages, colors, and genders, and I was glad I wasn’t the only woman my age. The shooting test came first, and we were separated into two groups. Those who were proficient (or thought they were) would shoot first, and those who were novices wou…