How to find your voice

Gut instinct.

Gut instinct plays a big part in any kind of writing. You need to know, when you’re writing, the difference between self-doubt telling you that the words on the page are terrible and a waste of time, and actual gut instinct telling you that something isn’t working.

This is really important for what I’m about to tell you, because although there are ways of discovering how you can find your voice, ultimately you just need to do what feels right. No amount of advice can force you to find your voice, or can create one for you, but there are paths you can follow to aid your own discovery of voice.

What feels right?

Try out different styles of writing. Experimental, traditional, descriptive, mostly dialogue. What do you enjoy most? (PS. If you enjoy writing dialogue more than anything else – have you considered scriptwriting?)

This can include various genres, following or breaking their conventions, and past, present and future tenses. Also first, second and third person – for reference, the difference between writing as “I”, “you” and “they”.

What feels right when you write like this?

What do you enjoy?

Before writing a story, you need to read some. This helps form your opinions on writing, you learn from what you enjoy and from what you dislike.

Try books from different countries, genres, aimed at children and adults and women and men, various styles, and mainstream top ten best sellers as well as obscure and old finds from second hand book shops. Broaden your literary horizons.

Maybe you don’t feel you’ve found your voice yet because you’ve been writing the wrong kind of story? I always think that if you’re enthusiastic about something in the first place, you’re bound to do better at it from the start.

What do you want to write?

This is where all of your previous research comes into play.

Think about the story you want to write, and logically what fits with that. What genre does it fall under, and therefore what vocabulary should you be using? Consider audience and how you should write for the people you want reading what you’ve written. Would it work if it was written from the protagonist’s point of view, a few points of view, or a god-like omnipresent character? Also consider tense: do you want the fast pace of present tense, or the traditional past tense.

Do you like writing in first person present tense, like Suzanne Collins for The Hunger Games? This adds suspense, and an immediacy to your story.

Do you like writing in third person, all knowing narrator style, like Lemony Snicket for A Series of Unfortunate Events? This style is comedic, unique, and flexible in what kind of information you can reveal and when.

Logically, these can make sense. creatively, you might want to do the exact opposite of what is expected of you in order to create a unique and interesting story.

Again, do what feels right! Trust your gut instinct. Trust. Your. Gut. Instict.

As a writer and editor, it’s the best tool at your disposal. Use it well.

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The One Biggest  Misconception People Have About Writers


Hi everyone!

Just a short, motivational post originally from my Instagram page that I wanted to share about misconceptions about writing.  

I think people believe writing a novel is just a combination of having creative ability and a couple of spare minutes to write it. In fact it’s weeks, months, years of honing your ability and then drafting, preparing, planning, writing, editing, THEN finding an editor, trying to get published, hoping it will do well, then rinse and repeat for future books. 
It’s HARD WORK. 

But I know if your willing to put the work in, you can do it! We don’t need luck, we have talent and determination! 

Let’s do this!

Happy writing!

J x

Your Own Brand of Magic

magic

Hi everyone!

Today, I want to talk about uniqueness.

The other day I was re-re-re-re-reading the Harry Potter series, in total awe of how J K Rowling ever managed to imagine the ridiculously intricate world that is brilliant and realistic at the same time. Then, even though creativity isn’t a limited supply, I started doubting my own writing skill. I could never, in a million years, create an environment as fantastic as Harry Potter’s.

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Getting Organised

desk

Hi everyone!

So this week, I decided to up my writing game and get organised. Let me tell you how.

When I get in from work on a night, even if writing is the last thing I actually want to do, it’s what I try to do. However in my home I have no dining table, coffee table, or any space to get my head down and write, write, write. Having my neck bent in half to type with my laptop on my knee, the TV blasting right in front of my face, trying to tempt me away from my goals.

After a couple of weeks of trying to make this work for me, and failing, I went straight onto Gumtree to see if anyone was selling a desk. What I needed the most was a space that was mine, just for writing, where I can focus and concentrate properly. A bubble.

The desk you see above this writing is the fantastic one that now resides in my living room. The chair is more comfortable than my sofa (this says more about the sofa than the chair, trust me) and it faces away from the TV and at a plain, blank wall that helps me to think deeply.

Since I’ve gotten it, I’ve felt more like a real “writer” – which is stupid, because if you consider yourself a writer, you’re a writer – and like I’ve invested something tangible, not just time, into my passion. I have a desk complete with all of notebooks, pens and a beautiful, decades old book of fables I keep visible for inspiration.

It’s even helped me feel motivated enough to get back into Blogging, which I’ve always loved and dabbled in but now is something I need to get into, to streamline my thoughts, to learn about the process of writing, and to network and hopefully get some online presence for when I have my first story finished and attempt to have it published in whatever form.

The lesson from this for you could either be, if your motivation is failing somewhat, to get a desk or a set space in your home purely for writing where you can’t be disturbed. If you already have somewhere appropriate, why not reorganise it? Change up the decorations, display inspirational quotes and photos, clean it if its needed it for a while. Pintrest is going to be your best friend for this one.

Happy writing!

J x

PS: The irony of this post being, of course, that my neck now hurts from twisting mid-sentence to watch this truly terribly reality show on TV right now. Do as I say, not as I do.