Developing your narrative voice

Every writer has a voice, a way of expressing their ideas. This voice evolves from their main style of interpreting events.

Some people interpret events in a factual, bullet-point-like manner, sticking to key details of events, while others do so in an emotional manner, drawing attention to they way things caused people to feel. Some people use a combination of both.

There’s nothing more frustrating than writing stuff you’re not interested in. The words will lack passion, and it will come through to your readers.

Creative writing is about expressing your creation, and not someone else’s opinion, so write what you would love to read. If it doesn’t appeal to you, it probably won’t appeal to your target audience.

Interpretations and narratives are largely influenced by experience and interest. This is why three people with different interests could witness the same event and tell three completely different stories about it.

I once attended a gala with a friend and, when we were asked about our experience, although all I could recall was the magnetic ambience, her account of the night was centred mostly around some guests’ unconventional fashion sense (which, if I’m being perfectly honest, I didn’t even notice). Because she is a fashion designer, her attention was drawn to details mine was not and thus influenced her interpretation of the event.

Understanding what influences you is key to finding and developing your own voice in literary expression.

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