When a writer starts dabbling into writing they also my find their voice–which basically translates into their “style”. This is both easy and hard at the same time, and somewhat a little scary. We are basically putting something three-dimensional into something two-dimensional–or even one dimensional. When you are writing no one can see your facial expressions or your body language. No one can hear the changes in your voice either. Something dynamic is put into something seemingly static.
We communicate this by what words we choose to use or how we put sentences and paragraphs together.
Herein lies the challenges of writing!
Here’s another thought: let’s tell stories by the campfire. Everyone either has a different story to tell, or they have their own version of a story they heard before, or they tell the same story differently.
This goes into the direction of voice–how we tell something, what words we use, and how we put our sentences together. Also it can be how we view the world or what we pull out of it.
It is possible to have a different voice for a different occasion. For example, you wouldn’t use the same voice to write a letter to the President as you would to write in your blog, right? In the out-of-writing world you wouldn’t speak to the company CEO as you would your friend, would you? They are still you, but different shades of you.
Writers face these challenges as well as building a scene and characters with a word palette. Just like the art world, Van Gogh has a different style than Picasso and so on. They find their style and stick with it. It’s awesome how globs of paint can become a person or a place.
From the music standpoint Beethoven didn’t write music the same way as Mozart did he? It was amazing what these guys were able to do with a bunch of notes on paper and the mixing of sounds with musical instruments. You are able to pull a mood out of the way the sounds are heard. It’s like magic!
This is the same sort of thing writers are trying to accomplish with words: finding their style as well as building people and places both real and imaginary. We are able to depict emotions and implant actions in other people’s heads by using words. We almost have the power of creation to an extent!
Usually, most artists have someone who influenced them whether it was directly or indirectly. Small part of that influence may show through or even not at all. Incorporate the general knowledge but find your own path.
But it’s never a good idea to try to take that voice for their own or conform it to their own whim. It’s simply like trying to be someone else in the natural world: wearing the same clothes, having the same hairstyle, or trying to walk and talk the same way as another person and not being oneself. Not only is that creepy, people know that’s not who YOU are and will call you on it. It’s embarrassing and possibly destructive. Think Edward Nigma trying to be like Bruce Wayne in Batman Forever. Creepily to the T, but he still wasn’t able to turn the tide. Attention was short lived.
Finding your own voice is part of the fun! Even if another author is successful before or after our time we shouldn’t copy their voice. We don’t need 40 clones of Edgar Allen Poe or JK Rowling running around, do we?
Don’t be a knock off of so-and-so. Chances are it won’t end well. Be yourself!
Find your own art form and style. You just never know!