I love the wonderful things that I am learning about my writing voice. For instance, did you know that not only is your writing voice unique like your speaking voice with a dash of your passion, it’s also about the themes that show up when you least expect them.
When I write, I write from my dreams and my imagination. I also ask the “What If…” questions that all of us know (or should know) will lead us to a journey of discovery within ourselves. “What If…” questions prompt us to look at scenarios from a different perspective. They cause us to delve deeply into our own life experiences, morals, hurts and sometimes challenge our own outlook on life. During this exploration, we come up with themes within our writing which come from the very depths of our own soul.
I usually end up with themes that I am only subconsciously aware of. These themes, are a part of my writing voice. They are the moral questions and insights deep within me. They are also visions of our world past, present and future which call attention to various troubles and patterns of our society as a whole.
When I sit back and read one of my stories, I generally pick up on the theme and begin to ask myself questions to truly understand. Once I do that, I tend to add more or take away from the story in an attempt to either highlight the theme or push it more to the background to just come out as a seed instead of a whole tree.
I am finding, however, that it is very important to be mindful of turning themes into soapbox rants. While there are things that each of us feels very strongly about, we can be sure that not everyone shares our opinions. That said, in order to make sure your voice is one that readers will want to read instead of one they want to avoid like a gas station bathroom, ask yourself if the theme is truly relevant to the story.
Relevance to story is one of the most basic of instructions that each writer must contend with. We have to make sure that we do not bore, offend, or confuse our reader with our ideas, plots and yes, themes. If you remember in my earlier blog “Who Are You?”, I stated that your writing voice is like your speaking voice. Just as you want to make sure you do not confuse people when you verbally communicate, you want to make sure that you’re clear when you write. If you are the type of person who speaks with sarcasm all of the time, others will not know when you are serious or when you are just poking fun. With your writing voice, if you are always throwing in themes that come across as nothing more than complaining, people will never know when you’re just letting off steam or when you really have something of importance to say.
Even when writing Fiction, there is something important to be said–something that flies into the mind of the reader and tickles not only their imagination, but their conscience as well. That message comes from the themes of your own sub-conscience and are an integral part of your unique writing voice.