We are getting close to the end of this series. It’s mostly adding the final touches to an almost perfect work. This is where the wordsmith really shines. Take a look.
Your Voice. Let it Ring True
Your voice is a huge, and I mean huge, selling point.
The way you choose to group your words together is your voice or style. The same style a woman uses when she goes out, and wants to make a lasting impression. What does she wear? A large cardigan two sizes too big? Curlers or face cream? A skirted suit? These do leave an impression. How about showing off their best features?
Your style will leave a lasting impression too. So no matter how you say it. Say what you mean. Make sure the meaning is clear. Create atmosphere, tone, and undercurrents with that word choice, for there is power there.
Because Writing Style is Subjective:
Choose your words carefully, simply, and with your reader in mind. Unwanted connotations, using too many pronouns, jargon, technical terms, or slang might confuse your reader.
An inner drive might force you to sit everyday and write, but what good is it if the reader doesn’t understand what you are saying.
Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling
Grammar must never steal your voice. At the same time who can tolerate spelling errors, and bad punctuation? If you don’t have a grammar Nazi in your life or the money for an editor, do the best you can.
Keep an Eye Out For:
1. Active sentences
2. A consistence tense
3. Only a paragraph or two to describe a person, place, or thing
4. Character tags and concrete senses
5. Varying length, and structure of your sentences
6. Clarity over slang, clichés, and wordiness
Never, and I mean Never, submit without running your hard work by your beta readers. They will see the things you can’t. Ask them questions. Take what they suggest to heart, but don’t change your work until you’ve thought how the change will affect what you’ve envisioned. When you submit, repetitive feedback from publishers/agents cannot be ignored.
Writers: Do you do anything special to get your voice to show on the page? Any specific questions you ask your betas?
Book Bloggers: Is there anything you wish the writer would ask their beta readers? A pet peeve that you’d love to see addressed?
• http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/revising-drafts , http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/word-choice , http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/reorganizing-drafts