It is amazing how many people I have run into lately that are talking about how they love to write! I was in Texas today, Houston to be exact and talked to someone who said his dream would be to quit working and just write. We talked back and forth about the kinds of writing he enjoyed, etc. He told me he was working on a historical fiction book set in Wyoming. It was about a family who was left motherless in the early 1800's.
I asked him if I might read a short bit of his piece so I might be able to "see" his "voice". He gave me the same puzzeled look I had given one of instructors at Wilkes the first time I heard the term.
The writers voice is the way you,the writer, uses dialogue, character development, puncuation, etc. Are your sentences short and choppy or long, dissertations of flowery language? Do you always seem to use slang? Unusual dialect?
Your voice is what makes you different from other writers! We can't all have the beautiful language skills of Shakespear, in fact, most of us don't. But what I have found after reading my cohorts stories and poems over the past year and the wide variety of books and authors, each of them have a distinct writing style that tells me immediately as a reader, who wrote the story.
So the next time you pick up a favorite author, pay attention to the "voice" of the book. Is it certain words the author uses that makes you know who wrote the book? Is the visual aspects of the language? Is the way they write the reason you continue to go back to the same author when a new book comes out?
My husband is reading a series of books one after the other because he loves what he calls "the way the author writes". What he described to me was "the author's voice."
So go on out there and find yours!