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Finding My Voice

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I have never had a particularly difficult time finding my voice as a writer. When I write fiction I tend to be almost schizophrenic, as I have many voices! My personal writing, however, has it’s own flair as well. Nonetheless, it was interesting to read the articles on finding my writing voice. I decided to answer some of the questions from Menwithpens.com to really explore my literary voice and see where I stand.

If your writing style was a drink, what kind of drink would it be? A casual beer? A pina colada? A glass of whisky? What about food? Would your writing be a Tuscan salad or a roast chicken dinner? Sounds a little crazy, but when you know your perfect writing voice is smooth like cognac or bright like strawberries, it opens up a whole new world of style

I think my writing style would probably be like a glass of orange juice. Colorful, sweet, just a little bit tart. As far as food goes, I’m sticking with the orange theme. My writing might be a little difficult to get into, but once you’re there you’re rewarded with sweetness and unique textures. (And sometimes things can be a little messy.)

Write like you talk. In fact, read your work aloud and see if that’s actually how you’d speak to someone sitting right there in front of you. Think of it like you’re having a conversation between you and just one other person (which eventually becomes the person sitting on the other side of your screen).

Sooo I’m supposed to write like I talk? Then I guess I’d write like this. This is kind of a difficult exercise, because it’s hard to think about how to speak while you write. Then again, I speak a lot like I write, though I tend to use smaller words when I speak than when I write. Call it laziness.

Place yourself in an environment. Imagine you’re writing somehwere else. Sitting in the woods near a waterfall. Or at a hoppin’ burger joint. Or in a legal boardroom. You might find that various environments bring different writing voices to your work, and you’ll find one most comfortable for you.

The room is so quiet that I’m acutely aware of my own breathing. The white-washed walls are pristine, just like the metal tables and the rows of stainless steel doors. The whole place smells sterile, antiseptic, like I’m being drowned in bleach. There’s another scent too, lingering beneath all of that clean. A little sweet, a little sour, it infects my nostrils and makes me feel queasy. They told me that it would take getting used to, the smell, but I don’t know if I ever will.

I managed to get used to the sights of this place. A person can only see so many dead bodies before they become fairly numb to it. The way skin turns sallow and sort of blue doesn’t affect me anymore – the dead have become nothing more than objects to me. I wonder if that makes me cold or it means I can finally do this job the way I’m supposed to…

(Yes I know this is a weird environment but it’s the night before Halloween and I was talking about my grandpa’s funeral home just recently…)

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