Sunday, January 29, 2012

An author's "voice"!

Happy Sunday! Today I’m going to chat about something that I’ve been wanting to blog about for a while now and that’s “voice”.

Before I was an author, I’d heard the term but didn’t really know what it meant. I suppose through the time I’ve been published—and it’s been drilled into my head of how important it is—I’ve taken a bigger notice to it.

Now I’m going to use two books as an example and I’m not going to name them because well…I just feel weird doing that. But it was two books that I’ve read recently. Both were outstanding stories, both well written and both had compelling plot lines.

But guess what? I only remember one of them.

So let’s talk about book #1 (the one I don’t remember). I know when I read book #1 that I really enjoyed it, but I could put it down and didn’t read late into the night. There wasn’t that itch to find out how the story resolved and it was more of a journey. I never had a moment where I stopped reading and thought “ugh, this is boring”. I actually really loved it. There was enough steam in the story that kept me happy, I really enjoyed the characters and I thought the plot was totally neat. But then why don’t I remember it?

Hmmm…good question!

Now onto book #2. This story grabbed me much the same as book #1. I loved everything about it and the characters were fantastic. But this was one of the stories that I cannot stop thinking about. I couldn’t stop reading and even when I put it down, all I wanted to do was go back and read more. I had a huge emotional connection to the characters and felt like I knew them…or at least, I wanted to. I read this book so fast because I was dying to know what happened, needed to spend more time with them, and this is definitely a re-read for me.

So what was the difference between book #1 and book #2? You got it—“voice”. It’s the authors way of telling a story. It wasn’t that anything in book #1 was bad. It was actually really good. But the author in book #2 had a voice that jumped off the page. I connected with her characters in a deeper way because of how she wrote them. It was in the way she set up her chapters and the situations she put her characters in. Her story was more “alive” for me because she had such a strong captivating voice.

It had nothing to do with the characters themselves because I loved book #1 characters just as much. And it wasn’t about the plot because I found them both intriguing. But it was the authors “voice” that grabbed hold and didn’t let me go. It sucked me right in and made me feel like I was somehow a part of the story. I got excited when the characters did, sad at moments, and I was totally cheering the heroine on. Even after weeks of reading it, this story comes into my mind and I’m DYING for the next book in the series.

Now the funny thing about “voice” is that everyone will like something different. While I like a certain way a story is told, others will pick something entirely different. But I think most will agree that there are authors out there that simply have a gift of making their stories an experience, not just words written on a page.

So yes, voice is very important! And usually when I find an author with a powerful way of storytelling I’m a fan for life!


Autumn Glazier said...

"Voice" was such a difficult concept when I was just starting out. This is an excellent way of pinning it down! Thanks for the great post, Stacey!

Stacey said...

Thanks for dropping in, Autumn and I'm happy you enjoyed the post! ;-)

Brenda Demko said...

Great post! I know exactly what you mean. :D