How does it sound?

I was wasting time on YouTube and ran across a hilarious clip of Christopher Walken reading some lyrics to Lady GaGa's Poker face.

It got me thinking.

There are lots of variations and interpretations of this song.

Just a quick note, I love Faith No More!!!

And the original...

I promise I am going somewhere with this.

So as the videos above show, there are many ways to interpret things. So, that brings up the question, how does our writing sound when read by others?

We, as the writer, try to give our work a unique voice, but does that come across strongly to the reader? Do they hear our voice or something else?

That brings the question of, "How do I give my writing a unique voice?"

I chose the clips above to help drive home the point, that people interpret things in their own way. Our job as the writer is to try and make our voice stand out. Make the reader actually hear what we say and not just read the text.

But what is voice?

Now I am still pretty green here. Writing is a learning process, but from what I understand, voice, in a basic sense, is something that we create through word choice, the pattern of our sentences, use of (or lack of) contractions, and common jargon.

It's how we speak to the readers.

Think about it. Are you formal, technical, chatty, or laid back? Do you (or your characters) use slang?

Notice I added, or your characters, in that last sentence. That's right. Your characters should have a unique voice too. (get into their heads and think of how they would actually say something.)

Most of us as new writers, use our own voice to be the narrator. Imagine yourself sitting in front of a room filled with people, telling the story.

They way we would speak the story to others, becomes our voice. If we write as we would speak it, the narrators voice is our own, and that is the first step to creating a unique voice.

Of course, I would love to see Christopher Walkin reading a passage from my story. Voice or no voice, he has such a unique speech pattern it would be fun to hear his interpretation.


Kristi Faith said...

Great post! So true that we need to give our characters a unique voice.

Have a great weekend!

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

It's so important that even our characters have unique voices. I'm trying to go back through and fix that right now. Great post!

B.J. Anderson said...

Great post and a lot to think about.

Melissa Hurst said...

This is so true. I'm trying to remember that as I'm working on my story.

Deb said...

I worry about creating a distinct voice. So many voices 'sound' similar to my reading ear. But every so often I'll pick up a book and a fresh voice will shout out and grab me with it's uniqueness.

I would love to acheive that in my own writing, I don't think I have yet. But it's definitely what I want to work toward. Great post Katie!

Anonymous said...

It just feels so bad when a person reads it poorly.

Jessica Nelson said...

Hahaa! I still can't decide whether I like that song. The quality of her voice depends on my mood. LOL

Great post though! Writing is as subjective as all entertainment.

Stina said...

Great post! And like everything else publishing related, it's subjective. What one person may like, another hates. :(

Matt said...

There's a couple of my poems that I'd love to hear Walken read! "The Night Godzilla Dumped his Chick" would be awesome!

kah said...

LOL. That was awesome. Love all the different variations. I'm going through a voice problem as I reread New Moon. I'm seeing the movie tomorrow night so I wanted to reread the book. I read the series before Twilight the movie ever came out and I enjoyed them. Now, I can't read without picturing Kristen Stewart as Bella and she drives my nuts as an actress. She's ruined Bella's character for me. Shows what one person's interpretation and voice can do to a story.

Roni Loren said...

I think the best way to find your voice is just to write a lot, your author voice will eventually come through. I have a chatty, sarcastic style that I can't escape. So no chance of me cranking out a somber work of literary fiction, lol.

Sande said...

Way to go with the teaching style. I got it. Can you come and teach my children ... :}

Sande said...

ps. Wish I could follow you two more times ... 100 seems like such a neat number

About The Author

Katie Salidas is a USA Today bestselling author and RONE award winner known for her unique genre-blending style.

Since 2010 she's penned five bestselling book series: the Immortalis, Olde Town Pack, Little Werewolf, Chronicles of the Uprising, and the all-new Agents of A.S.S.E.T. series. As her not-so-secret alter ego, Rozlyn Sparks, she is a USA Today bestselling author of romance with a naughty side.

In her spare time Katie also produces and hosts a YouTube talk show; Spilling Ink. She also has a regular column on First Comics News where she explores writing from a nerdy perspective.