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The Voice of a Writer

Updated on April 17, 2015

In Response to a Question

From Kailey: “I'll never get tired of your voice! It's conversational, intelligent and comical. Speaking of which, do you have any suggestions for someone who wants to improve their voice? Or, do you think after most writers have found a voice they're comfortable with it'll always sound repetitious to them, even if others enjoy it?”

I love this question. I was going to answer it in the Mailbag, but it’s such a great question I decided it deserves its own article. So here it is. Thank you, Kailey! You can find Kailey under the name Social Thoughts on HubPages. I invite you to visit her site. She is a very insightful young lady and quite frankly I am jealous of her mind.

I’m flattered by Kailey’s compliment about my voice. Her compliment and question got me thinking. How did my voice develop? But first, we need a definition.

Our writing voice begins to take shape early on and develops from there
Our writing voice begins to take shape early on and develops from there | Source

What Is Voice in Writing?

I’m going to give you a very short definition, and then I’ll go into a little detail.

Your writing voice is you in words.

That will be twenty-five bucks, please.

Your writing voice is your attitude. Your writing voice is your tone. Your writing voice is your personal style.

Your writing voice is all of those things and so much more. It is affected by your experiences in life. It is affected by the way you see life.

When I started writing I made a conscious decision to have a conversational voice. I am not an intellectual. Talk to me in my yard and you’ll instantly feel comfortable. I’m like an old slipper that just feels wonderful when you put it on. There are more expensive slippers in stores. There are great shoes, boots and sandals, but none of them feel as comfortable as my slippers.

I want people to feel like they are reading an article written by an old friend, the same way they feel when they speak to me in person.

I’m also somewhat of a philosopher. I gained, early on, a great appreciation for the works of James Lee Burke. His views of life are constantly intertwined in his stories, and I love that I have to think about life while reading one of his mysteries. That’s how I wanted to write my novels.

So those were the two biggest influences on my writing voice when I first started out.

But Kailey wants to know how a voice develops, so let’s take a look at that.

Know your audience when choosing a voice
Know your audience when choosing a voice | Source

Ways to Develop Voice

No matter who you listen to on this topic, you are going to hear that a writer needs to read a lot and write a lot in order to develop their voice. I agree, but there are other things you can do that will be helpful.

Write from your heart! Never forget that we all share the five senses. They are the common ground we can all relate to. We have all shared common experiences, common pains and common triumphs. I promise you, if you learn to share your emotions and allow them to run free in some free writing, your voice will develop much quicker.

Practice writing like you are talking to a friend. See if you can’t translate your conversational language into written language. Don’t try to use big words you normally wouldn’t use. It will sound forced and stilted.

Experiment with styles. Break free from your comfort zone and try different approaches to writing. I read a novel by Tom Robbins once and decided to write a novel in a similar voice. I still find some of his voice in my writings today. I also love free-flow verse and I’ve experimented with that as well. Or maybe you enjoy writing stories for children. If that is the case, then try writing a story for adults or young adults. The goal is not to have you write for a new market. The goal is to get you to spread your wings and fly out of your cocoon of safety.

Write freely. I think, oftentimes, we can over-think a project or task. Sit down and practice writing without worrying about rules. Just let it flow. No barriers, no concern about style….just write.

Can Voice Change?

Without a doubt voice can change and I think it is necessary that it does. I think voice becomes enriched as we live longer and have more experiences. If I had written a book when I was twenty-five, my voice would have been considerably different from the voice I have today. I have had forty years of life since then. I’ve had forty years of joys and tears, pain and love, since then. You better believe my voice has changed during that time.

I think our voice changes gradually as well. I am not the same writer today as I was a year ago. I think the flow of my writing is pretty much the same (rhythm), but the intangible tone of my writing may have become a bit “darker” for lack of a different descriptor.

Can We Write with Different Voices?

Yes, we can, and I’ll add that I think we should.

Obviously, when I write for customers, I’m not writing in the same voice I use for my novels. That would be silly and unprofessional….and a good way to lose customers.

When I write articles for HubPages, my voice is not the same as when I write my novels.

Situations dictate that we use different voices. Writing a series of articles to be read by retirees might require a different voice than a series of articles written for young twenty-somethings, so my audience needs to be taken in consideration as well.

This falls under that experimentation thing I mentioned earlier. I think that any writer who only writes in one voice will, over time, because a very boring writer. Try new voices and new styles. Through experimenting with other voices you just might find your own.

Your voice will be influenced by those around you
Your voice will be influenced by those around you | Source

Did All That Help Anyone?

I’m going to leave you with one other thing to think about. Does your personality shine through in your writing. Do you want it to?

I ask those questions because of a friend I know who is almost a recluse. She stays at home, rarely leaves, most definitely has a limited social schedule, has no husband and does not date. She is, quite frankly, a rather bland individual who, when you meet her, will threaten to put you to sleep with her personality.

And she writes terrific romance novels.

I have no idea how she does it.

Your personality may or may not be a liability. Decide which it is and whether you want it to become a part of your writing voice.

Kailey, there you have it. Thank you for the question. I hope this helped you and others who have wondered about the same thing.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go practice my writing.

But before I go…..

It just dawned on me there was a second part to Kailey’s question: “Or, do you think after most writers have found a voice they're comfortable with it'll always sound repetitious to them, even if others enjoy it?”

I don’t think there is any danger in your voice sounding repetitious if you keep trying to grow as a writer. I think dissatisfaction comes from being lazy and settling for the status quo. Keep spreading your wings and you’ll never be in danger of putting yourself to sleep.

What kind of voice do you want? Answer that question and then go for it!

Now I’m definitely leaving.

2015 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 2 years ago from New York, New York

      First off, I also never tire of your writing voice and truly have to agree with Kailey on this. That said your advice is spot on and try my best when I write to share just as I would to a friend or even my own family. So again can't help but agree with you on this and more. Thanks so much, Bill for sharing here today and wishing you a great weekend now!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Janine. I don't know where my voice came from but I'm glad I have it. I appreciate your kind words. Happy Friday dear friend.

    • Molly Layton profile image

      Molly Layton 2 years ago from Alberta

      Thank you for this wonderful Hub. I've always wondered how I can change and develop my written voice. I am certain this will be useful for many people.

    • Be Like Water profile image

      Dattaraj 2 years ago

      Great advice, Billy. I don't know why I haven't read all your articles already.

      As I have learned from my own experience, I think fear is the main reason why some writers's voice appears artificial and inarticulate. If you write from the heart, you are doing nothing but communicating (Talking) to your reader. Whereas if you try to edit every sentence as you write, you hesitate and the outcome is clumsy writing.

      I watched a movie, Finding Forrester, and the protagonist, who is a writer, gives the same advice. I even wrote an article about it, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

      "Write like talking to a friend." I like your simple yet incredibly effective advice. This single piece of advice can significantly improve one's writing.

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 2 years ago from Washington, DC

      This was a unique way to create a tutorial, Bill. It was so generous of you to highlight Kailey's question and her skill as a writer. I will visit her. I appreciate the refresher on how to develop our voices as writers. As always, stellar. Voted up and useful.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 2 years ago from Arizona

      Interesting and I hope my sill voice shows through. If the book is conversational like I write--then that works. By the way here is the link to the final on Amazon-Kindle. Gotta fix the cover.http://www.amazon.com/Faces-Aries-Beyond-Zodiac-Bo...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad to hear it, Molly. Best wishes on your writing path and thank you for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Be Like Water, thank you so much. I love your advice as well. It takes time, but if we learn to write from the heart, the voice will follow.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jan. I appreciate you being here and checking Kailey out. I hope you enjoy her as much as I do.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very exciting, Carol. Thanks for the link. I'll get over there today.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Excellent explanation of voice, Bill. Voice definitely changes depending on what you're writing and who the audience is. I find my mood affects my voice as well. We humans are multi-dimensional. It only stands to reason that our writers voice should be as well.

      Have a wonderful weekend, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true about mood, Sha. Thanks for adding that. My mood is dictated by the sun today. The garden is calling me so I need to take care of some odds and ends and then get out in the garden. Happy Friday my friend.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Bill, this was an excellent answer to Kailey's question (I need to check her hubs too). I am glad we all develop our own voices. It would be a boring world if we all sounded the same in both speech and writing. I know how James Lee Burke is one of your favourite writers and inspirations, well I have just been fortunate enough to have been given a novel called "Missing Justice" by Alafair Burke, his daughter. I am interested to read it and find out how her voice differs from that of her dad.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Superb answer to the question. I didn't know what my voice was until a year or so ago and it is true that it changes, for the better (I hope!).

      I think the most important point you've made is that we should push our boundaries, give ourselves a challenge, make ourselves feel uncomfortable, vulnerable. Not only is it a teensy bit exciting but it's amazing what you learn and how you progress and develop as a writer.

      Always a pleasure to listen to your voice through your words, bill.

      Have a wonderful weekend!

      Ann :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, it's interesting you mentioned her. I just read a book by her last week. She is her own writer for sure. I saw no resemblance at all with her father. I'll be interested in hearing what you thought of her. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann my friend, thank you! I love this topic and I find it amazing how our voice changes over time. I can look back at earlier writings and not even recognize myself. I wonder what changes are in store.

      Have a superb weekend, Ann.

      Bill

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 2 years ago from Upstate New York

      This is one of your greatest that I will print out. Two most important: write from your heart and write as if you are talking to a friend. I also read somewhere advice that said, "Write what you know." I have never forgotten that either. This is an excellent answer to Kailey's question, and I am going to look her up. Thank you again for your presence on Hub Pages. You have no idea how it has blessed me and thousands more. Sparklea

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Writing from the heart is the key for me. Getting out of my comfort zone is something I'm trying and I love doing it. Thank you again for all your help....

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And Lea, you have no idea what your support and encouragement mean to me. I guess you're stuck with me, kind lady.

      Blessings this weekend. We are finally going to see a seventy degree day and I am so ready to work in the garden. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I can see you moving out of your comfort zone, Ruby, and it is a pleasure to watch. Well done my friend, and Happy Friday to you.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Very interesting thoughts on voice. I find that many of us spend time mimicking the voices of others before we fully realize our own.

    • profile image

      The Gringocua 2 years ago

      I decided not to sign in to Hubpages for this, but I just had to comment Bill. I too love your writing voice. While my writing voice often has a frog in it, your voice always seems to have an Eagle soaring free.

      Take care my friend and have a great weekend--By the way, I just had a book go audio--YEA!!!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I think that is very true, Larry. It's a learning process as we go, and I think it's only natural that we mimic as we progress. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gringocua, thank you for the kind words. Sometimes that eagle soars; sometimes she just sits on a tree limb waiting for a good wind. But I thank you for that. Have a great weekend and congratulations on that book going audio. Great news!

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 2 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      Interesting and useful stuff. I personally try to write whatever comes into my head as possibly useful to others. Not sure if it works or not, then other times I am playful and try novel approaches. I never have really settled on one voice, and personally never intend to as I agree with you that experience helps to make us and hopefully we just keep maturing like fine old whiskey or wine!

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Excellent summation of many of the little points you've suggested to us before. It has really helped me, I know, in recognizing that I do have a writing voice. Practice writing is the best way to find it. I write a lot of narrative voice here at HP, and do believe I've "found that voice." Thanks, again, so much!! ;-)

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very interesting hub!

      This is an excellent answer to Kailey's question. I am going to check her hubs as well. I usually write what is interesting to me and the subjects I am really familiar with.

      Enjoyed going through your insightful hub. Voted up!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Great advice, Bill. You have put it so clearly in awesome style. It is very useful for people like me. Thanks for sharing this valuable advice. And thanks to Kailey (Socialthoughts) for putting forth this question before you. Otherwise, I could not have had the chance to learn these great tips.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dressage. I like your approach and philosophy. As long as it works for you then it's all good. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I would agree that you have found your voice with the narrative. Carry on my friend and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you ChitrangadaSharan. I hope you enjoy Kailey. I know I appreciate you very much.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Venkatachari M. I'm glad you found this useful. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      That was a very good question. Your answer helps a lot. When I try to sound "intelligent" it is quite difficult to write it right. But, when I write as if I am speaking directly to a specific person, it becomes easier to get the words down on paper.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Voice and Style, both are both such interesting subjects Billy. I sometimes look at photography in exactly the same way as you have described above.

      You have a great weekend

      Sally

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, I think you just unraveled your won voice mystery. :) Have a great weekend and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very interesting, Sally. I love hearing reflections and observations like that one. Thanks for sharing that and I hope your weekend is fabulous.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      Funny, your voice, just like your personality, comes from within. If you let it flow it will work. I agree with you, of course, it's when you try to change it or be someone else the trouble begins.

      Yes, we need to change our voice to suit the writing we're doing, but a little bit of us still shines through no matter what we write.

      Thanks for the introduction to Kailey.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      Your explanation is terrific. Honestly, you have a gift and you express it in your voice. I read constantly, but I don't believe I always hear a voice.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. What a great answer to a great question. Your voice definitely shines through in your writing. What I hear is a relaxed, easy going, easy to talk to writer who enjoys helping others and will gladly share his knowledge. This is what makes you such a joy to converse with. Have a great weekend Bill.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 2 years ago from Georgia

      Very interesting. I didn't even know I had a "voice" as a writer until a friend told me I did! Honestly, I get tired of hearing my writer's voice when I edit what I write...after about the 4th time. But others like it so I think I am just scaring myself and it fills me with self doubt when I try to proofread my work too many times. The essence of who I am as a writer sometimes is lost to me when I repeatedly look at my work with a critical eye, and panic that maybe its not good enough and I sound ridiculous and no one will want to read it. That's when I know it's time to let someone else proofread it for me!

    • Jlbowden profile image

      James Bowden 2 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Bill:

      Thank you for sharing your writing voice once again in this article. As always interesting and useful content for all writers of different voices to benefit from. I like the conversational writer myself, and who doesn't like an old original pair of comfortable slippers - right? Nice touch there. And also glad you didn't use Kailey's question and turn it into another mailbag article. That would've been a waste of voice! LoL. (;

      Jim

    • social thoughts profile image

      social thoughts 2 years ago from New Jersey

      Bill,

      Thank you! This is so sweet. :) A few of these ideas I had later considered from some of my college writing classes--such as practice writing as another author, but most of these I had not heard of. So, thank you! I am working on an article that deals with how we writers are our own worst critic because we expect words to just poor out from us with perfection. I think we forget that other writers are going through this, too!

      You're a lovely person, and your friendship has been one of the best aspects of joining Hub Pages.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 2 years ago

      Oh Bill, is there a better answer to anyone's dilemma (mine) what the voice is and how does it speak ?! Your great article broth me closer to admitting why I am and who I am noting differences to my previous life - a stranger. Soon I might be able to write a comment, but first please let me know where and by what means to sent you twenty-five bucks.

      Thanks my friend.

      Voting useful and interesting.

      Good night; blessed weekend to all.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Bill,

      I enjoyed this greatly, quite validating. I happened across my high school composition paper (A+...LOL) and it was so stuffy compared to the way I write now but I could see 'signs of my voice' in there for sure.

      Wishing you and Bev a glorious weekend. Love, Maria

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      I really like this one and can relate. In academic writing, I use one voice and it is considerably different than the voice I use for business writing and different still from my hubs.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kailey, thank you. I love making friends, near and far, and I am very happy that we met. No, words do not pour out of us. There are days when the waters are stagnant and nothing flows at all....but I don't think our minds ever stop. I know mine doesn't. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mary! I agree, a little of us creeps into anything we write. I think that' inevitable....and refreshing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I appreciate that, Pop. I am very grateful for this "gift." I don't know where it came from, but I'm going to keep riding this horse until it kicks me off. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, thank you so much. I've never understood not sharing knowledge. Some people hoard it like it's a priceless artifact that should be locked away. I figure if I give it for free I'll get returns for free, and I'm all about free trade. :) I appreciate your kind words, my friend. Happy Weekend to you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      All true words, Karen. I think that happens for most of us. We read our own words over and over again, and they sound, eventually, like they were written by a pre-teen. LOL I guess we have to trust in our talents and go with it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jim, we sure don't want to waste voice, do we? LOL Thanks my friend. I've got my slippers on right now and I'm quite comfortable. :)

      Bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, this lesson is free, but you made me laugh, so I guess we traded knowledge for laughter. :) Thank you for your kind friendship. Wishing you a majestic weekend with peace and blessings.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      Good advice on "practice like you're talking to a friend." Get yourself a voice recorder and pretend you are actually talking to a friend. Then transcribe. It's an interesting experiment (I've done that with narration from my YouTube videos). You'll hear your "real" voice (which is hard for lots of people) and your "writing/thought" voice. Both are enlightening. Good stuff, of course. Voted up and sharing!

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 2 years ago from australia

      Oh yes, really thinking now about my own voice and the changes through the years. I need to seriously experiment now. Looking back, I preferred the my voice of a few years ago, mainly the humour I used - must investigate.

      I did see a question re voice the other day. Someone writing a novel had discovered that two of her characters had the 'same' voice. Too similar. And this was causing a dilemma in her work. I could empathise with her problem. Our voice also has to provide characters with subtle and not so subtle differences. On and on we go.

      Very much appreciate your Voice!

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 2 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      I love the personal photo from 1960. Blessings!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This hub contains some very useful information and advice. Thanks for creating it, Bill.

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan Robert Lancaster 2 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      LO Bill, here I am at my Charles Atlas act again.

      'Voices' sounds like some young pop diva's debut album. My voice has gone through changes (D. Bowie?) over the years.

      I 've come round 180 degrees since my 'bolshie' youth. That's ownership for you, house and car, family, job, responsibility etc. My writing's 'moved' as well since I started off, and onceover I wouldn't have bothered with writing fiction. Is it maturity, or not bucking and just swimming with the flow? Getting old more like.

      The thinking process changes as well. I'm more selective about the words I use - switching backwards and forwards from my early mediaeval English thinking in the sagas, to specialist terminology in the railway world and on to broader aspects of modern life. Voices.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Voice, in writing, is a hard concept. This is the best explanation of it I have read.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from St. Louis, MO until the end of June, 2017

      This is a very interesting Q&A. You've given a lot of insight in a brief hub, and that is appreciated by your readers. I've noticed my voice changing over time, and it seems to be a good thing. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Maria. I'm glad I saved some of my older writings. They are illuminating to say the least...at times a bit painful. LOL

      Have a wonderful Sunday dear friend.

      love,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the tip, Heidi. I've never done that but you can bet I'll be doing it soon. Happy Sunday my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Maj! It is very easy to do with characters. I know I've caught myself doing it. Thanks for the reminder. Now I need to go check my characters and see what changes need to be made.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Marie. Dorky little guy, wasn't I? LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia. I'm glad you found it to be so.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, thanks for doing the Atlas thing. You are a warrior my friend.

      All great examples of this article, Alan. Thank you! I think, most definitely, that life's circumstances affect change in our writing voice. I know it has happened to me and continues to happen.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thank you Rebecca. I consider that a huge compliment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris, I'm of the opinion that any change in our writing can be a good thing, provided we are willing to learn from it. Thanks for your thoughts, buddy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, thanks for sharing that. I appreciate you stopping by. Your comment disappeared on me but I finally found it again. Sorry I'm late with a response.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Dear Bill,

      Kailey's question is a good one that did deserve a hub! Thank you for sharing your insight on finding your writer's voice, which you certainly have done.

      I have always believed if we write from the heart, we cannot go wrong. But when we try to force something, it shows in our writing.

      Thank goodness for life experiences as the years go by. So true, about our voices changing as we mature with age. I know without a doubt my voice is nothing like it would have been 30 years ago, or even a couple of years ago.

      Excellent article as always.

      Peace and blessings and keep allowing your voice to be heard ...or read!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Kailey is right about your "conversational, intelligent and comical" voice. I also appreciate your helpful suggestions on developing my voice. Thanks for your encouragement.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image

      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      I greatly appreciate your insights on this matter. I don't want to write like I'm somebody I'm not, but then again it might not get me the desired results. A lot of people want to read an article that's static and professional and I don't have the technical qualities to give them that. It's a struggle but I enjoyed your response. Voted up.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image

      schoolgirlforreal 2 years ago from USA

      What an interesting article Billy, and I can thankfully say-- I read all of it, because on the whole, my reading ability has grown. I will say, I've been reading a lot of books lately- sometimes I read an entire book in two days--, which has helped my attention span grow!

      I owed you a visit for the longest time.

      You are definitely a good writer.

      What I can say also, is I understand how the voice can change, especially since the "person" changes like you said...and I can relate to that! I've changed and so I would think my ability to write would also ;)

      Oh, congrats on your novel, I heard you finished it...what's it all about? :)

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      This was one of your very best posts on this topic. I'm so glad you decided to write an article on this great question and I will share it with our authors and on other social media platforms. Well done as always!

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      Consolacion Miravite 2 years ago from Philippines

      The writing voice gains credibility if you are in authority to write about the subject matter of your article. It's a technique on imparting your truths to your target audience in a way that they could understand it. This hub is a good example of that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Fatih. Write from the heart. If I could give one piece of advice to a writer just beginning, that would be it.

      Happy Monday, friend, and blessings always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you very much, Dora. I'm so happy others like my writing voice.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for sharing that, Chris. I think you bring up an important point about voice.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you schoolgirl. I appreciate the visit. My new novel about a vigilante being hunted by a serial killer. It is a psychological drama.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Nadine. I appreciate you sharing it with other authors.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you csmaravite....great point you make and I totally agree with you.

    • nirvann profile image

      Kranthi Swaroop 2 years ago from Hyderabad

      great . thanks

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are welcome, Nirvann!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      A great big Bravo to you, Billy, for your common sense answers to a tremendous philosophical question. We writers thank you.

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      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Some writers you just have to make time for. Just so you can soak up what they say and take it onboard!

      This was superb advice Bill and even just thinking about it I can recall noticing how my voice as a writer has changed.

      One good way is to change the type of.writing

      Not sure you can sell something? Try writing advertising copy. You don't have to submit it anywhere, just challenge yourself.

      Really enjoyed the advice. Use everything you experience in life

      Blessing

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you drbj! I'm just sharing what was freely given to me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lawrence, great advise about writing advertising copy. That's a great writing exercise and I speak from experience. Thank you and have a tremendous week, my friend.

    • Besarien profile image

      Besarien 2 years ago

      Wonderful hub on a great topic based on a good question!

      "I want people to feel like they are reading an article written by an old friend, the same way they feel when they speak to me in person."

      You absolutely achieve this goal with aplomb. You could make a killing in advertising or speech writing, billybuc. All us and HP would be far poorer for it, though.

    • Melissa Orourke profile image

      Melissa Orourke 2 years ago from Roatán, Islas De La Bahia, Honduras

      You words always inspire me. Thank you. Thumbs up, useful.

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      craftdrawer 2 years ago

      I enjoyed reading through your Hubs. Here is a question you may be able to help me with. Several books recently self-published on Amazon Kindle have the writer writing in the first person (Ex: Colleen Hoover) I thought that when writing a book or story it was typically written in the 3rd person. Do you know the rules to this and what is the best way to write?

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      The way you describe voice is spot on, bill...I had no idea how clearly our voice is associated with us, uniquely our own when I was an undergrad pursuing my B.S. (no comment, please...:D)

      I hate to admit it...I guess I was a rotten person then but I wrote research papers for others in order to make money..yes, I did...I am not proud of it but ..my family was poor and did well to get me to school so that was how i contributed---my parents had NO idea. Anyway, I wrote a research paper on fashion and how it was cyclical. It was one of my best nonfiction pieces of the year. Unfortunately, my professor recognized my writing...he KNEW it was my work. O, dear...the shame of it all. And my friend was no longer my friend because she got a zero. O dear...never did I write another paper unless it was for my own classes. So, even back then, my voice was loud and clear.

      Enjoy hearing your voice every time I visit.

      Angels are on the way to you this afternoon ps

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Besarien, that is so kind of you to say. Thank you. You made my day with your words, a wonderful gift.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thank you very much, Melissa! I'm very glad they do.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Craftdrawer, thanks for the question. I don't think there are rules. I have actually read quite a few novels in first person, and the novels I write are in first person as well. So, no rules, just write in the way you are most comfortable.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 2 years ago from United Kingdom

      Can your voice change when writing dialogue for your characters? I think it should because your character is not you. Do you think that subconsciously your true voice slips in?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, it's a great question. Most definitely it should change for your characters and most definitely your real voice sneaks in. I'm always on the lookout for that happening. I'm going to borrow this for the mailbag because it's a great question. Thank you!

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      I think a writer has to be honest, and not pretentious. This is probably the difference between the 25 year old writer and the 50 year old writer. The 25 year old wants to dazzle and impress with vocabulary, and this leaves the audience yawning and looking for something else to read. The 50 year old writer, on the other hand, does not talk down to his or readers. Finding that honest voice seems easy and natural, but it's a lengthy, ongoing process. I read things I wrote 20 years ago that make me cringe; 5 years ago not so bad. Great hub!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, you are so correct, and thanks for a great observation. My earlier writings, as you said, make me cringe. My goodness, we've come a long way, baby! LOL

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      You know Billybuc this come off as informative useful and intelligent.. bravo

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Frank. I'll gladly settle for informative, useful and intelligent. :)

    • letstalkabouteduc profile image

      McKenna Meyers 2 years ago from Bend, OR

      Yes, your voice does remind me of a comfy slipper. It's very natural, very relaxed, not forced. After reading an author for long periods of time, I'll start to take on her voice. That's why it's best to read quality writer!

    • DynamicS profile image

      Sandria Green-Stewart 2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Absolutely intriguing! This is very helpful information even for a middle age woman who is still trying to find her voice. It is funny because as I child I had a voice but I lost it along the way - maybe during adolescence. Over the years because of migration and career experience, my voice remained underdeveloped. Recently however, I have began to rediscovery my voice - and it is amazing! I find that I am questioning a lot of what I observe as I develop a confident voice.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you letstalkabouteduc....very kind words and I appreciate it. Great comment about reading quality writers. Very true.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dynamic, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I didn't really find my voice until late in life, so I understand what you are saying. Best wishes as the search continues for you.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 2 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks, as always, for sharing your wisdom in writing, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And vkwok thanks, as always, for always being here. You are appreciated.

      Aloha, my friend.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Important advice and well taken, Bill. I'm on another edit of my novel and finding lots of area where I can improve. This is one of them. Thanks for the helpful clues here.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Peg, there are days when I think the editing and revisions will never end. Good luck with yours and thanks for stopping by.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 2 years ago

      I'm glad you covered changing voice. I often think I write in one voice and then all of a sudden, depending on the article I'm writing I change it up, or at least I think I do. That's one thing that makes it still fun to write my articles. I find changing my voice inspires me to write more. Very interesting article Bill! Have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, great observation. I'm impressed that you noticed that your voice changes depending on the article. I would venture to guess not many writers can do that. Thank you and I hope your weekend is superb as well.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This was a perfect article. My writing is different, depending upon what I write, as I know that you know. My more technical material on birds/global warming is directed to professionals, and those that want to know more from an educational standpoint. My birding articles are purely for enjoyable knowledge in the specific area that they were written. My poetry is more archaic, so it all depends on what I am doing. This was a fabulous topic!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      It really does depend on the topic, Deb. My writing for customers in no way resembles my writing in HP articles, and that isn't really close to my writing in novels. Thanks for pointing that out.

    • Aliswell profile image

      Aliswell 2 years ago from Iowa

      Hi Bill...I am back from the "Almost Dead" so to speak. After a undeterminable stretch of time. I won't bore you with the details, or sequence of time and space that led to my being absent. Let it be sufficient as to say that the world did Not cease to rotate on its' axis because of my failure to put words into cyberspace and that eventually would up in your little corner of Hubpages.

      My vision of trying to keep my voice authentic , would be the illusion that I am trying to work the "Hell" out of my system at the time! For, you see, writing is as close to the "Cosmic Cleanser" that I have yet to find.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aliswell, welcome back. No, the earth did not cease to rotate on its axis, but I'm still glad you found your way back. I hope all is well with you. Thanks for hopping the red eye and visiting from Iowa.

    • Danny Cabaniss profile image

      Danny Cabaniss 2 years ago from Shawnee, Oklahoma

      Bill, I really enjoyed reading this hub, and I love Kailey's description of your voice. This helps me as a writer and as a high school English teacher. Thanks so much!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Danny, my pleasure and thank you for being a teacher and trying to improve. I was a teacher for eighteen years and I admire others who do battle against ignorance daily. Carry on the good fight!

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