Tag Archives | voice

Who are you? And why is that important?

This one question resonated with me. It lodged into my brain and my heart and keeps repeating over and over again. I look at my story that is polished, ready to go. I look at the work I’m currently revising. And I look at the idea bubbling in the back of my mind, ready to burst forth onto the page.

Why do I write the stories I write? Why do I focus on certain themes? Why do I love the books I do?

I know the answer. I think. Just like if you asked yourself that question and looked at your work, you’d probably find the answer too.

I heard this question in a workshop on Finding Your Marketing Voice at NESCBWI. The speaker was referring to the question in terms of marketing and social media. But that’s not what the question meant to me. Instead of marketing voice, I started thinking in terms of story voice.

Not voice as we usually think of voice as writers. I mean the subtle heartbeat behind our ideas and our themes that can’t help but be present in our writing, creep into our character arcs, and find a way into our plots.

Do you see a consistent theme in your stories? Do you see any kind of vague reflection of yourself in your writing? And how do you think as writers we can or should capitalize on that in which ideas we choose to pursue or our marketing/branding?

Comments { 44 }

“Unique concept + Voice + Craft.”

Agent Sarah Davies tweeted this yesterday. “Unique concept + Voice + Craft.”

Isn’t this what we’re all searching for? Not only in our writing but in books we read? I know I am.

Unique concept:

From what I’ve read and from my own experience of scribbling down ideas, the most unique concept is not the first idea we get. We’ve all read to list ten, twenty ideas and keep going until our idea is unique.

 But then we hear that there is no new story.

  • Practice at coming up with unique ideas – even if you never write it.
  • Take a somewhat good idea and add a spin, twist it, mash it up until it is unique.
  • Take your idea and keep asking What if – over and over and over and over.
  • Don’t play it safe. Take risks. Be bold.
  • Read and know what’s out there.


  • Practice, practice, practice.
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Don’t settle for blah verbs and descriptions.
  • Know your characters inside and out. Be true to them.
  • Get rid of those clunky sentences.
  • Lose your self-consciousness.
  • Use sensory details.


  • Read, read, read.
  • Write, write, write.
  • I love studying books with writing that I love.
  • Work hard and be purposeful in your efforts to learn craft.

If you haven’t read the Baker’s Dozen auction to see what agents bidded on – take a look. It didn’t surprise me at all that certain titles were in demand. It all came back to unique concept + voice + craft.

And I’ve happened to have  read a couple books this past week that fit the bill. More on Friday!

I challenge you to come up with three unique story concepts. Today. Even if you don’t write them. Go ahead. Do it.

Comments { 16 }