Historic Storms, Fantastic First Pages, and Hooked with Les


Thanks to everyone who submitted their first page of a WIP. As the bulk of the country is now hunkered down while white stuff whips around outside the windows, what better time to read some more of what Les has to teach us?  Strong voice is huge for most of us as readers. I know it when I see it, hear it, and yet, ask me to define it? Luckily, Les wrote a book answering the question for us.

Write On asks: When I read a book with a strong voice, I recognize it immediately. Yet in writing it’s not that easy to practice. What do you think is the magical quality called voice?

Les says: Voice is both a simple and a complex concept. When we first learn as children to communicate, we all have a terrific and original voice. We still have it, but many times it’s buried beneath layers and layers of “instruction.” We’ve learned to hide it over the years because of all the naysayers we’ve been exposed to in education and in life. Put simply, your voice is how you think. What happens is we put up a bunch of filters between how we think and what appears on the page, so that we can “please” all those folks who told us what’s acceptable and what’s not. (Including moi!) It’s not that we have to create our writing voice; we simply have to find where we’ve stashed it—we’ve already got it. That’s all my book, Finding Your Voice intends to do. Show the writer how they lost their voice and how to regain it.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Historic Storms, Fantastic First Pages, and Hooked with Les

  1. You’re right. I’m drawn to the beautiful language Amy Tan’s book, the fast-pace, real language in L.A. Bank’s books and the seamless world building in Kelley Armstrong’s books. It’s easy to recognize, hard to do.

    I think having a writer’s group, or someone to bounce material off of, is a great start to helping writers ‘hear’ their own voice. It’s also important to continue learning about the craft and Les’ new book sounds promising.

  2. LOVE this. It makes perfect sense. It reminds me of a conversation I had with my mom once when I was giving a presentation and didn’t want her to come. I was afraid she would be offended but she got it. She said, “Without people there that know you, you can be whoever you want to be.”

    I took that as, you can open up and be yourself. Not that I’m not myself around my family…but you know what I mean. We do put up walls that conceal parts of ourselves to others. Writing is freeing in that way, when you finally find a piece of work that pulls out the inner you.

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