In a previous blog post at GuyOrdinary.com, I wrote “… and I believe I wrote our story in a strong and unique voice” without really knowing what that meant or what claim I had to having a ‘unique voice’. At the time, I thought it was just a style and attitude in writing that made my novel uniquely mine. Since then, I have looked at dozens of novels by other authors and seen both vast differences and many similarities to my style. Quite frankly, I began to doubt the uniqueness of my ‘voice’, still unable to define what ‘voice’ is nor to be able to characterize my ‘voice’ in my ignorance.
With a few internet searches, I found many relevant articles, and disregarding the fact that their authors defined ‘voice’ in ambiguous and general terms (and often didn’t agree), I condensed their collective wisdom down to the following attributes: distinctive, original, authentic, personality, attitude, exceptional.
When I read that list, I immediately think of the pop singer, Shakira, when she sings in Spanish. There’s nobody else with her unique voice (although her singing in English is quite ordinary). Shakira has a talent for combining words into lyrics that exploit the rhythm and romanticism inherent in the Spanish language, and then she sings them with an edginess, an attitude, that can only be cheaply imitated by others. One of her first albums best exemplifies her ‘voice’, IMHO. My goal is to be a Shakira in my writing.
My novel, Pleasing María, poured out of my sub-consciousness directly to my fingers on the keyboard essentially bypassing my conscious mind. Does that make it authentic and personal? Certainly. Distinctive? Original? Perhaps. Attitude? Probably. My unique voice? Absolutely. Exceptional? Someday soon, my readers will tell me.
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