Stimme. Voix. Voce. Voice. Such a simple word holds an entire lifetime of work for writers. Influenced by favorite authors, personal friends and society at large, the voice is the author’s soul poured into progression of words that ultimately create the backbone of a work. While this comes naturally for many, it is an obstacle to be overcome by even more. As you search to find your own, one that stands out among the throng, consider just what goes into the shape and delivery of your personal language.
As a barrier to those that can and cannot comprehend a piece, vocabulary defines more than the level of reading. Its usage of either simplistic or compound phrasing builds up tone while defining the voice. In great narratives, you will find that individual characters use very different vocabulary sets, indisputable proof that word choice dictates voice. Aside from character identification, it helps you speak to your audience personally. The more akin to the dialect of the readers you hope to sway, the more intense the connections will be, very much in the way Anglo-Saxon literature began to unite the peoples of early England.
Imagination, though undoubtedly powerful, cannot be expressed in full without the author having experienced the emotions to provide them context. Indeed, experiences are what give life to otherwise dead languages. Similar to how readers cannot fully comprehend The Awakening unless they have undergone the threat of being trapped, the voice cannot express ideas that have not been fully realized much less illicit such reactions in others. Experiences also allow you to articulate the abstract into something substantial.
“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” As Einstein understood, one can only write once one has learned how to write. From there, the rules can be toyed with so as to transcend beyond what society expects. But to do this, the writer must know and master how to produce what society expects. With the rules fully mastered, there comes the capability to alter it unavailable to those without a firm grasp on grammar, spelling and punctuation. Part of this study comes from the skill to mimic the masters and then surpass them after understanding what made them so.
Creating an individual voice that freely affects readers is perfecting an aria or completing an artistic masterpiece. It sets the author apart as someone to be listened to and often read. From a powerful voice can only come powerful ideas. This voice comes from language, experience and the breaking of established rules. It is the baring of the soul, and without a fully realized soul, there cannot be a fully realized voice. As a writer, it is your responsibility and yours alone to find this voice to foster and grow every day to transform it into a force so strong it cannot be ignored.