How To Use Strong Voice In Your Writing, Even If You Want To Be Invisible

A good and bad example of how investment of self imbues your writing with your personality, and results in vigorous voice.

Your voice shows up in your writing whether or not you want it to. Writing is like speaking; your tone, and much of your personality and internal values show through in your phrasing, your word choice, and your sentence rhythms. When you write, you show the reader who you are. This is good, because when you write, you are forming a relationship with the reader.

In order to develop your voice in writing, choose something you really like. In my example below, I will focus on horse paraphernalia; bridles and numnahs and such. Take the thing you like, and sneak it into the scene; allow yourself to wallow in the glorious smushy-happy feelings that explode in your chest as you mentally snuggle up to your special item(s).

This will bring your voice to the surface.

Bad Writing (weak voice):

Bianca pulled the holster over the table towards her. These enemy procedures were very tiresome to get through. She was sure that Georv would make a mistake, one of these times, and then she would find herself mining for EmRocks in the Silvan prison camps. Unless one of those Torfuscan captains catches me, she told herself, as she strapped the holster onto her thigh, and wrapped her heavy overcoat to conceal the weapon.

Good Writing (strong voice):

“You have three seconds between the beep, and the scanner turning on,” Georv said, thrusting a heavy Torfuscan gun across the table. Bianca took the weapon, which was encased in a delicately-worked holster of fine leather, and untwisted the buckles and straps.

“What if you’re wrong, and they catch me with the gun?” she asked, laying the holster against her trim thigh, and cinching the supple leather into the bronze buckles.

“I can’t come after you there,” Georv said, staring at her nimble fingers.

“I’ll be hoping for a selfish captor, in that case,” Bianca replied. She was thinking of the Torfuscan slave women she had seen, with their tattooed arms and heavy silk leg wrappings.

“Just don’t get caught,” Georv snapped. Bianca grinned at him, and slung her heavy coat over her shoulders. She pulled the strap hard around her waist, and the thick fabric slung over her legs, concealing the weapon there.

“If you’re right about the time lapse,” Bianca began.

“I’m right, just get through quickly.”

“Then there won’t be any difficulty, and I’ll see you tonight,” she finished. Georv glared at her, and she pushed at his arm. “Cheer up, bub. I’ve never been caught before.”

“You’ve never gone into Torfus before,” Georv muttered, his face dark with displeasure.

“Well, if I’m lucky, they’ll ship me into a Silvan prison camp, and you can pick me up there,” Bianca said.

“If you’re lucky, you won’t get caught.”

Bianca smiled, and laughed.

“That’s the spirit, Georv,” she said, and pressed past him in the narrow ship. She could feel his eyes following her, clinging to the folds of her coat. Georv is going soft on me, she told herself, as she hoisted herself up the rungs of the aft ladder.