Your Voice and Passion may seem to be contradictory to the advice/guideline in Part 1 that tells you to limit emotionalism. But it isn’t. Honest truth. All writers should have passion for what they are writing or they probably will not write after awhile. But how to have passion as you establish your Voice? Maybe the following will help:
1. Personal experience is very often a passionate item. You remember your feelings, your sensations of what was around you, your immediate reaction to the experience. Rarely are you thinking that someday you will write the experience down–especially at the time it is happening. You cannot be asking for pity or playing to emotionalism when you are IN an experience. Acknowledge that. Record, later, what happened, and your take on it now. It can be full of passion, as an afterthought. Just distinguish between the occurring experience and the later thoughts and reactions.
2. Seek universalities. There are universal truths we are all subject to. Again, these cross all genres. Children’s fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, memoir, journalism, mysteries, suspense and horror–all will contain universal truths, embedded into the writing. Use your Voice to reach your reader and woo them to believe what you have written and become involved. An example we would like to share is this:Never having read Stephen King, but trying the novel, “The Shining,” we realized we were reading a great author when we read how the shrubs outside the hotel there in Colorado took on animal shapes and stalked the young boy living there with his insane father. Why? Because we never faltered in believing that this was not even questionable in our mind! We believed it with no hesitation. To evoke that kind of acceptance in a reader without any hesitancy on the reader’s part speaks to wonderful authorship! And passion? Oh, yes, there was passion! Fear was prevalent, suspense without question, and yet King maintained his Voice by teasing the reader along, terrified to stop reading but not wanting to go on. The Universal was fear of the unknown, the conflict of what should be done, the fervent hope the reader had for the young boy to survive.
We are not all Stephen Kings. Some may not care for him at all. But his ability to reach people and pull them into a world where Passion is everywhere, and his calm Voice leading the readers through it, is something to be envied.
3. Voice means finding your Passion. As you’re reading others’ works inspires you, pleases you, entertains you, you will see and hear passions. You will begin to hear certain voices relating these passions. Some you will quickly forget, others never. You will find some authors/writers that tug at your very soul and some you will dismiss easily because they do not interest you at all. But if the writers you read inspire you, they will enhance your passion. If that passion grows, so will your Voice. You will add to what has inspired you and then strike out more and more on your own.
4. Share your Voice. To share your Voice is the most daring of all. We all read our favorites, tell others how great we think they are and encourage them to read them, too, and at best, try to imitate the ones we consider great. But one day, you have to have the courage to not simply imitate, but speak out in your writing Voice. It is yours, not another author’s. It is your story, your screenplay, your journalism, your own suspense and horror, your children’s story. IT IS YOUR VOICE. Share it.
5. Keep writing and keep learning and keep polishing your Voice. As your write, in your Voice, you will become stronger in conveying what you want to. You will also keep learning as you see where you wandered away from your Voice. You will see what happened, figure it out, avoid it happening again. Then Polish your Voice. Nothing survives that cannot be improved upon. Adjust, adapt, but retain the original as it will always be yours.
We are passionate about a number of things, mainly because we are empathetic and have had enough experiences in life that we can relate to numerous people. We continually struggle to maintain our voice as we voice our passions via writing. We truly “let go” in our one blog-storywritersthoughts on Word Press. Keep a journal or set up a blog where you can do the same. Writing can earn you a living–and also save your soul and sanity–as is our case.
Judy Kukuruza’s book “One Body, Many Souls” can be found on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2FuA241; Their website is at https://onebodymanysouls.com/. Their blog is at https://storywritersthoughts.wordpress.com/.