I've been thinking a lot about Voice. We've all heard that. We need voice in the manuscript, voice in the hook, the pitch, the query. What is voice? Where is mine? Sure every author is unique. After all there is only one of you. So is that it? Is it just me?
I don't think so.
Here is my own understanding of voice.
I think...here goes...that Voice is linked with that old concept of writing what you know. This is one of my few aha moments. If you already figured this out, great! I'm a slow learner. If not bear with me.
I write fantasy/science fiction/paranormal. Never lived in a world of magic and dragons, never flew across space and time, and have never fell in love with a vampire--nope, not even one in the big screen.
They creep me out.
Do I write what I know. NOPE. I don't think that's what fiction is about. Fiction is about taking your reader with you in an experience together. It's about drawing them into your imagination. That idea throws out the "write what you know" advise.
But where does Voice come in? Voice comes in through you and what you know. Voice comes easier, for me anyway, when you know your characters, when you know your world, when you know the dynamics of the conflict you create. You have to know them inside out to navigate through the structure of your story and expect the reader to follow. Writing what you know is your voice.
I can capture that in my writing by examining people. Real people. Strange people, new people, old people, people of different professions, people of different cultures. They can be found in malls, restaurants, your local drug store or at home. People are everywhere. Now if you are a hermit like me you can also use videos, you tube, and your own kids. If you have 'em handy.
Where do you find your voice?