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Trouble with Writing Voice

Brain behavior is wild stuff. I have no idea how I can reread my own stuff over and over, when I was in my younger years, I'd never be able to do this. Editing in a fiddly manner and rereading are habit now. Rewrite? No. I rewrite very little because I obsess over things before typing, heh heh. In part, it was because I wasn't happy with my writing back in the day. These days I find it difficult to read any fiction but my own, but I'm just fine with history books. I've a quirky noodle.
  • The Fire In Fiction
(in page 131 to 133, by Donald Maass) (2009)


"Opinions expressed in a natural way or details coupled with a characteristic syntax"


"using the associated vocabulary, attitude, outlook, and diction"


  1. Second person, future tense
  2. Collective past tense
  3. Objectified present tense
  4. Different points of view
  • Writing Voice
(From the editors of Writer's Digest) (2017)
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Hey pmmg, basically, in those sources, what is being said, is something I truly believe, like this comment I made here, How to find Your Writer's Voice. .

Hey Luis,

I totally believe you, and it might be great if I also read all those sources. But I am not likely to do that. There are many ways to arrive at the same destination, or in so many cases, the destination that works best for you. I invite you to take all the stuff you learned and put it in your own words. A more engaging conversation may follow.
A trick I find helpful is changing my POV between drafts. Like writing first draft in 3rd or 1st person, then the second draft in the other. When writing the first draft I'm focusing on getting the story out. If I rewrite in the same POV then it is easy to be lazy and mostly accept it as is. But I find if I change the POV then I have to change everything so the rewrite is far more thorough. But at the same time, since the story is already written, I instinctively focus more on how the story is told and the voice pops more in the rewrite. If I'm going from 1st to 3rd then it comes across more as someone telling the story around a fire or whatever rather than just a history of the story in some book somewhere. If I'm going from 3rd to 1st it comes across more as how the character experiences the events.
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I guess its simplistic, but I give my writing to my friends and ask them to read it for me. I ask them to make note of anything they find confusing or feel could have been better clarified. I use to just give them a chapter or two and asked them what they thought. Well they are my friends and they always said they loved it. I got better feed back when I directed them to critique, essentially, how the POV was working and how well if progressed.

I also like to do a little reverse engineering. I ask myself what do I want my readers to get out of this specific paragraph, passage, scene or chapter. Does the writing tie into what has gone before without unnecessarily rehashing the past. Are my characters behaving true to their nature. Finally if I can clarify that I am accomplishing those things, then I ask myself if this moves the story forward in a clear concise way.

Here's another exercise I like to do. Maybe it sounds confusing and it may not help you like it helped me. I started taking sections, scenes or chapters and made a copy. Then I rewrote them in different points of view. After several goes I found I began to develop a better understanding of POV and I got better at choosing a POV for a given situations in my writing. I even tried writing from the POV of a non-corporeal being, who while not a god, had some god-like qualities. I even wrote sections where she spoke directly to the reader. Heresy! A narrator who dared interact with the reader. In other words I tried having fun with it.

Move forward. Worry about all this when it comes time to revise your work. Enough time will have passed that the work will have a newer flavor and you will catch the inconsistencies or weaknesses. Then you can sharpen up the details as needed.

As for you being "no genius". Pooh. Everybody has their own kind of genius within themselves. You proved it when you ask for others to help clarify your thinking on a topic. After all thinking is murky work.