A big part of every author’s quest–to agent, to publisher, to first and second and third book–is finding his or her own voice.
In the writing world we talk about “voice” a lot, both when discussing individual books, and also about careers and an author’s career trajectory.
Wikipedia calls voice an author’s “style.” When I think about authors whose voices I know, and know well–Neil Gaiman, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling–there’s more to it than just the style of writing. There’s a way in which the story is told that I notice, that stands out. The way in which the plot twists, the secrets unfold, the characters develop. Sure, I could easily recognize a paragraph from Harry Potter, even if all the character names were changed; but it’s also the cadence of Rowling’s writing. It’s the underlying creepiness of Stephen King’s (even in a decidedly non-creepy book like 11/22/63). It’s the total suspension of disbelief in Neil Gaiman’s. (more…)