What is your writing voice? (And a free competition)

The majority of us have an actual voice, one we were born with and grow into, one that is unique, like a snowflake, a voice whose tone we often subconsciously, sometimes even consciously, change depending upon who we are speaking to: be it our partner; our bank manager; our local vicar; our friends; or even when we are charged by positive or negative emotions.

A writing voice is something writers are always reading about that other author’s have, that the critics are raving about, but what is it? And how do we utilise our writing voice for the genre we are writing in, the size of story we are trying to tell?

The tutors in the Professional Writing Academy have been asking themselves the same questions. Their answer is to run a nine week online course, starting on the 9th May 2016, called Find Your Writing Voice. Details of this course can be found here.

And there’s a free place up for grabs, too. All you need to do is write that killer opening first line of your short story or novel. You can enter as many times as you wish. So why not flex your writing muscles and spend a day or two, or even three, writing from scratch some killer opening lines, or maybe revisit those short stories and novels you have written and edit their first lines anew, remembering first to spend some time studying those killer lines from your favourite novels. Here are a few of my favourite (in no particular order):

You would have searched a long time for the sort of winding lane or tranquil meadow for which England later became celebrated.

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

1801. – I have just returned from a visit to my landlord – the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

I stood in the middle of my father’s bedroom, holding my breath.

A Mile of River by Judith Allnatt

“What I don’t understand,” the taxi driver shouted over the whacking of the windshield wipers, “is what goes through a person’s mind when he mutilates somebody like that.”

Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp

So here she was, old now, standing by the roadside waiting.

A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman

One snag, the deadline for this competition is looming: midnight on the 1st May. Full details can be found here.

Good luck everyone!


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