A Writer’s “Voice” vs Style

Sarah Bowman
Sarah Bowman, attended workshops, writing groups, read & write constantly, novel-in-progress

Every writer has his/her own “voice” or writing style. All you have to do to verify this is read dozens of writers and be aware of the way they write. It’s similar to everyone having their own way of talking. Each person is unique and thus, the way we speak or write is unique despite being influenced by culture and society. You’ve probably tried imitating someone else but in the end you’re still yourself. The same applies to authors and their writing style. Each has his or her own style.

That said, in my opinion more is made of style than is warranted. In the news media, book reviews, etc., have to be interesting and informative, able to sell books. Somehow, it seems to help if the reviewer can talk convincingly about style; it sounds like he/she actually knows what they’re talking about. That’s my opinion for what it’s worth. And it’s based in part on reports that this or that author writes in the tradition or style of another author, yet when I read the work I can’t see the comparison.

Long story short, I prefer to choose my own books based on my own personal preference. I know what I like in writing style but I can’t explain it.

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