My voice is me. I don’t think about it, I just write what ‘feels’ and sounds right to me. I can’t really define it. Maybe it’s simply the syntax and vocabulary I use instinctively, and my own inner sense of ‘flow’. One of my CPs called it ‘the way you string words together’.
I know immediately when I’ve written something that doesn’t feel right. Sometimes I’ll stop and re-write it there and then; other times (e.g. when I want to write a scene quickly) I’ll leave it and go back later to write it differently. I don’t need to highlight it to find it again because I know I’ll recognise it immediately as not being right.
Okay, so maybe my ‘voice’ has changed over the years – but then so have I! When I started to look at writing ‘techniques’, I balked slightly, wondering if my ‘voice’ was going to change by adopting some of these techniques. After a while, I realised I had absorbed and then adapted them to my personal style (rather than the other way round).
One of my blogging/twitter friends said this when I asked him about a writer’s voice: “just find the writing style that makes you most comfortable” (thanks, Paul!). I think he’s right. If you struggle and agonise over ‘finding’ your voice, you’re doomed to failure. Just relax and write, and the real ‘you’ will come over in your writing.