Pike's story!

Find out more 



Male/Male romance

Available now! Find out more 


Available now for only $1.99!

Find out more 


Watching is only half the fun...

Available now! - Find out more 



Gibson's story!

Releasing Oct. 20, 2015!

Find out more 



*This does not subscribe you to my blog.





Join the Fearless Romantics Reader Group

Search This Site
Powered by Squarespace
Latest From the Blog
Dig Through the Archives
100+ reading challenge 2010 about me adverbs agent agents ashley march author author blog author branding author intrusion author platform author voice author websites authors award awards backstory bad boy balance berkley heat best writing links beta club beta reader beta readers blog tour blog tours blogfest blogger blogging blogging tips book book covers book deal book marketing book promotion book reviews book title books branding characters comments contest contests crash into you creativity critique critique group critiquing dear author debut author deep point of view deep POV dialogue ebooks editing editors endings e-publishing excerpt face off friday feedback fiction fill-me-in friday first chapter first draft first novel genre genre fiction goals guest blog guest blogging guest post harlequin historical romance hook how to write humor ideas indie publishing inspiration interview joan swan Julie Cross kindle kissing blogfest kristen lamb links literary agent literary fiction love scenes marketing mashup melt into you memorable moments middle grade motivation motley crue movies muse music mystery mystery writing Nelson Literary Agency new years resolutions novels opening chapter opening lines openings overediting panster pantser paranormal pen name perfectionism pitching plotter plotting poll promotion publishing queries query query letter querying question of the day reading reading challenges rejection repost revising revisions romance romance author romantic suspense rough draft royal street rules RWA RWA nationals sagging middle Sara Megibow save the cat self-editing self-publishing sequels series sex scenes sierra godfrey social media social networking speed writing submissions suspense suzanne johnson teens tempest tiffany reisz time management TMI traditional publishing tumblr twilight twitter update urban fantasy voice WIP wip wednesday women's fiction wordiness work in progress wednesday workshops write tip writer writer toolbox writers writer's block writers' conference writer's toolbox writetip writing writing blogs writing contest writing craft writing goals YA young adult
« I'm Not Defensive! Psyc 101 for Character Development | Main | Love Scenes 101: Don't be Corny or Porn-y »

It's All About Me: Discovering Author Voice


Over the weekend I read Allison Brennan's speech about finding your author voice. (Thanks Lynnette for the link to this.) I took a few things away from her speech. One, that she wrote five manuscripts before she sold. And the second was that the key to getting published (in her opinion) was discovering her voice.
Now, we've heard about voice, I've talked about it here. But what I liked about her advice was that she believes our author voice is already in us, we just have to recognize it. After trying out a few different things, she realized that her voice was naturally dark and fit well with suspense. She tried to write a chick-litty mystery and discovered she wasn't so funny on paper.
This got me to thinking (always a dangerous thing) about my own voice. My YA is dark paranormal, or at least that's what I set out for it to be. However, as I wrote it, I found myself with a heavy thread of romance that threatened to take over the story. I also kept slipping in humor and snark at every turn. Not exactly what I was going for, but I couldn't help myself. In addition, it was a fight for me to keep things not too sexy, because it was teens and I knew that wasn't appropriate.
So then I started my contemporary romance. All of a sudden, I didn't have to fight all those natural tendencies. I had free reign to focus on the things that I love writing about. And the book was so much more fun to jump into. It was like slipping into a comfy pair of slippers after trying to wedge my feet into stilettos for months. I found my voice.
Now I'm not saying that with my voice, I can't write YA or something outside of romance, but I need to probably go for a different type of story than I did with the first one. One that lends itself to my strengths. My strengths (based on crit buddy/beta reader comments) are humor/sarcasm, building sexual tension, dialogue, and creating characters the reader connects with. I can work with that.
So when you start stressing about voice, look in the mirror (figuratively speaking). Who are you? Do you tend to see the darker side of things or do you find the humor where others don't? Are you a hopeless romantic or a realist? Are you polite or irreverent? Your voice is already in there, you just have to unearth it.
Don't you ever read a book and think, I could hang out with this author? We know based on how they wrote the story and their characters that we'll probably enjoy their personality. We're hearing their author voice bubble underneath all of it.
So how about you? How would you describe your author (not your character) voice? Have you written a story and realized it didn't fit your natural voice and style? Have you ever read a book and thought, me and this author would get along?

**Today's Theme Song**
"Pieces of Me" - Ashlee Simpson
(player in sidebar, go ahead and take a listen


Reader Comments (19)

great post. I just did one on narrative tone a little while ago. And, now I can read up on some more info on voice.

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAsh. Elizabeth

I would have to say I write humor with edgy relationship issues. I've never written my MC's love interests to be guys she goes to school with. They always have to be older or a trouble college dropout. Something along that. I can't write serious, and the author I would probably get along great with is Richelle Mead.

The only time I've tried dark/serious I found myself not connecting with the people I wrote about as much as my newer novels. I come from a Mom who tells jokes that aren't funny at all and a Dad who tells corny jokes, and now I'm a weird-snarky mix. Who knew.

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAsh. Elizabeth

I think I'm still working through to find my voice. I do think though that part of it is the tendency I have to write characters who talk and act a little bit older than their age. I think I struggle with creating believable characters, but I'm working on that one.

I think I'd get along decently well with Tamora Pierce. And Jasper Fforde, maybe. (OK, I'd just want to hange out with him in hopes that some of his talent with humor would rub off on me.)

Exellent post.

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie L. McGee

Roni, I love your picture! I always imagined you with dark hair reaching the small of your back, but you are a pretty blonde too! So funny how we conjure up images...

Like you I am seeing a thread of romance that I had not expected in my novel. I plan to be very attentive to how things unfold.

Great post.

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTamika:

I love the new picture of you! And this is an excellent post. I'd have to agree, your voice is humorous. Go with it!

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSusan R. Mills

It is GREAT to see a picture of you! I was so excited to put a face with your words.

I LOVE this post because I've been thinking a lot about this recently. I'm writing a chick-lit, bubble gum on the beach book and I never thought in a million years this is what I would write because I'm "serious and spiritual" it feels so cheap...I grew up reading Shakespeare, Hardy, Steinbeck and here I am writing fluff?!

But I love it and it comes naturally to what can I say?

Reading you post has allowed me to relax into my bubble gum on the beach...maybe someday I'll write differently but for's fluff!

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterstaceyjwarner

Another awesome post, Roni, and I really like the new pic.

Some things definitely feel more natural to write, more comfy to slide into like the slippers you mentioned. Light, fun books with heart and depth are often what I enjoy reading, and that's the kind of thing I tend to write.

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDawn Simon

Such a great post! And it's nice that you have a real picture of yourself too! I fought against my natural voice on my first novel too. I can't get too serious or it just sounds forced. MG is a great place for me to be because I don't have to be serious at all if I don't want to be.

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

Funny. I wrote about this today, too. ;) Great post!

Lynnette Labelle

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLynnette Labelle

Great post, Roni! That's great that you're slipping into something comfortable and fun for you to write. That definitely makes it easier for our voice to shine through!

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJody Hedlund

I really liked this post and it spoke to me because I'm still trying to figure out my voice. I haven't written many different genres but I have an idea what my strengths are and I just need to expand on them. I would love to be that kind of author that the readers could envision hanging out with! :)

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Dao

I'm still working on the whole voice thing. I'll have to keep you posted on how it's going.

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermelane

Great post! I have a few different characters in my three novels but if I really look at them closely most of difference lie in age, gender, situation but many personality traits are similiar.

My third book MC is just like me at 15 - always daydreaming and never paying attention in school.

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

I like the 'real' the 'dark' and the 'honest'. I love a true story. I like exploring human relationship and interactions. My books exploit this. Hopefully well :)

There is always a lot of me in what I write. I can't help it. I don't want to help it :)

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTabitha Bird

I TOTALLY hope to be an author people want to hang out with. I'm considering that one of my goals now. GREAT post!

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

I'm struggling with this issue at the moment...

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeb@RGRamblings

I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog. (: I'm still trying to find my voice so to speak.

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterInsanity

I hope I have a good voice. It's hard to know until people read and respond well.

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTina Lynn

Slightly humorous, but mostly serious. That's how I'd describe it! Character voice depends on the book. I write YA, romance, and women's fiction, so you can imagine how I feel a bit schizophrenic sometimes!

October 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie Faris

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>