Developing your writer’s voice #6

Not all these exercises will work for every writer, but some might enable you to find and/or further develop your voice.

(Most of these exercises are taken from Finding Your Writer's Voice: A Guide to Creative Fiction by Thaisa Frank and Dorothy Wall)

Speak your voice through characters.

Like a ventriloquist, you throw your voice into a story character so that it's you and yet not you speaking. More than anything, it should be the character's voice that dominates, but your own voice will add vibrancy to your character.

Your heroine will have her own unique way of speaking, and it will also depend on her audience. She may speak one way to her mother and a different way to the hero. Through it all, don't be limited by her personality--rather, let her individuality unleash your own raw voice.

Take a persona and notice if you speak directly in his voice--in his skin--or describe him as if you're in the room. Sometimes, this can indicate a preference for first person versus third person.

Let this persona be uninhibited. Give her the quick mouth that would never survive in the real world.

Experiment with different personas completely different from who you are--an extrovert if you're an introvert, or a high-powered attorney if you're a teacher. Put them in different situations to discover who they are on deeper levels--stick your extrovert in a Hollywood party and then a monastery, or move your attorney from New York to Taiwan.


  1. I especially like the idea of putting an extovert in a monastery!


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