Indie Author Weekly

090: How to find your voice & style as a storyteller & writer

December 15, 2020 Sagan Morrow Episode 91
Indie Author Weekly
090: How to find your voice & style as a storyteller & writer
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Indie Author Weekly
090: How to find your voice & style as a storyteller & writer
Dec 15, 2020 Episode 91
Sagan Morrow

This episode of Indie Author Weekly addresses how to find your voice or style as a storyteller and writer.  

Finding your voice as a storyteller is something that will take time. The best way to discover it and to cultivate it is to continue writing and telling stories on an ongoing (and, ideally consistent) basis, and to review your work as time passes.  

These tips will help you out:  

  1. Keep writing and telling stories on an ongoing basis, as consistently as possible.
  2. Have fun with it! Play with various genres and perspectives etc.
  3. Expand your comfort zone by starting with what feels easy or natural, and stepping more and more into your strengths as you keep moving forward.
  4. Reread your previously-published work so that you can see your voice and style grow over time, and to observe any patterns.
  5. Pay attention to your storytelling voice and your writing style, and try to ensure that they work together, rather than against one another.

TUNE IN to this episode of Indie Author Weekly to learn more about how to find your voice and style as a storyteller and writer...  

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Show Notes Transcript

This episode of Indie Author Weekly addresses how to find your voice or style as a storyteller and writer.  

Finding your voice as a storyteller is something that will take time. The best way to discover it and to cultivate it is to continue writing and telling stories on an ongoing (and, ideally consistent) basis, and to review your work as time passes.  

These tips will help you out:  

  1. Keep writing and telling stories on an ongoing basis, as consistently as possible.
  2. Have fun with it! Play with various genres and perspectives etc.
  3. Expand your comfort zone by starting with what feels easy or natural, and stepping more and more into your strengths as you keep moving forward.
  4. Reread your previously-published work so that you can see your voice and style grow over time, and to observe any patterns.
  5. Pay attention to your storytelling voice and your writing style, and try to ensure that they work together, rather than against one another.

TUNE IN to this episode of Indie Author Weekly to learn more about how to find your voice and style as a storyteller and writer...  

Resources & links mentioned in this episode:  

Let's chat about this episode:  

Support the show (https://saganmorrow.com/secretpodcast)

Hello friends! Sagan here. Welcome back to Indie Author Weekly, where I share my behind-the-scenes journey of writing and self-publishing books. 

If you’re new to this podcast, I am a productivity strategist for multi-passionate creatives: I help people manage their time and energy effectively, through customized, actionable strategies that work for your unique life and business. When I’m not teaching about productivity to solopreneurs, I spend my time writing books, such as my Polyamorous Passions romantic comedy series. And that is what this podcast is all about: the adventures of the author life. 

Get podcast episodes and writing updates delivered directly to your inbox at SaganMorrow.com/behindthescenes—link is in the show notes.

Now let’s get into this episode of the Indie Author Weekly podcast. In this episode, I want to address how to find your voice or style as a storyteller and writer.

Finding your voice as a storyteller is something that will take time. The best way to discover it and to cultivate it is to continue writing and telling stories on an ongoing (and, ideally consistent) basis, and to review your work as time passes.

I find it interesting to look at how my author voice has grown over time. Many years ago, I liked telling stories that were based in emotions. They tugged at the heartstrings and explored feelings of sadness and sorrow. I would say that my writing was more dramatic, than anything else. But when I started Polyamorous Passions, I liked the idea of keeping the novels light and fun to read. I didn’t want them to be super heavy. 

And the more that I keep writing, the more that I find myself gravitating toward a more humorous angle. My books tend to get funnier as the series goes on. But you can still see that emotional side of my voice in some of the scenes—I would say, particularly in Books 3 and 4. So that voice is still there, but it’s perhaps becoming more complex with every book that I write. My upcoming romcom, Small Town Stilettos, unpacks grief throughout the story as an important underlying theme, for example..

As I discussed back in Episode 76 of this Indie Author Weekly podcast, writing humour requires a lot of nuance. It’s interesting to peel back the layers of it—if you look at my first published romcom, A Choice Between Two, I would say that it’s more cheesy humour, than anything else. And I love cheesiness! Small Town Stilettos, on the other hand, is extremely snarky. Part of this is that I am getting much more comfortable with conveying humour through snark, whereas early on, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to capture all the nuances of it. So that’s one way in which my writing voice has grown.

An important part of this, too, is that as you develop your voice and style, you might go in all kinds of different directions. For example, you might start out with snark, and grow into cheesiness. Neither one is more quote-unquote “evolved” than the other: rather, it’s about expanding your own comfort zone, whatever that might be, and stepping more and more into your unique voice. One end of the spectrum might feel safer or easier to you to play with in the beginning, compared to something else. This is just one small example of what it might look like. 

I also encourage you to play with different styles, and see what feels better to you at this time. For example, I had no idea I could write scary thriller stories until I wrote a short story in October that was super creepy! And it came very naturally to me. So that’s a cool element of my voice that I never realized before, and I might never have otherwise thought to flex that creative muscle. Learn more about that in Episode 87 of this Indie Author Weekly podcast.

In another example, my upcoming romcom Small Town Stilettos is the first novel I’ll have written in the 1st person… and I was absolutely floored at how much easier and flowy it felt for me to write. Which also makes a lot of sense, because in my last few novels, I had some of the most enjoyment writing the internal monologues for my characters. So I’m really excited to play more with writing in the 1st person, because that might be a great natural fit for my particular voice and style.

The more that you play with different genres, lengths, and perspectives, the more that you’ll be able to differentiate what you have a more natural talent for, or what feels RIGHT for you. Pay attention to what parts of the writing process are more enjoyable or easier for you than others. And when you reread your previously-published work, see if you can notice any patterns where your voice and style really stand out. 

Lastly, consider how your voice and style integrate together. If we think of voice as your distinct, natural freewriting element of you as a storyteller, we can then think of style as how you go about conveying that voice. What are you doing to ensure that your writing style supports your storytelling voice? Are there any discrepancies between the two? If there’s a disconnect between your writing style and your storytelling voice, that can detract from the reader’s experience. 

So, there you have it! A few thoughts and hopefully some helpful tips on how you can find your unique voice and style as a storyteller and a writer. 

To distill it down into a few bullet points for you: 

  1. Keep writing and telling stories on an ongoing basis, as consistently as possible.
  2. Have fun with it! Play with various genres and perspectives etc.
  3. Expand your comfort zone by starting with what feels easy or natural, and stepping more and more into your strengths as you keep moving forward.
  4. Reread your previously-published work so that you can see your voice and style grow over time, and to observe any patterns.
  5. Pay attention to your storytelling voice and your writing style, and try to ensure that they work together, rather than against one another.

Now, I would love to hear your thoughts on this! Do you have any confusion about your voice as a storyteller? Do you feel as though your writing style reflects and supports your storytelling voice?

Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram, @Saganlives, to chat about it, or to let me know if you have requests for future episode topics. The more you tell me what you’d like to see more of on this podcast, the better that I can accommodate that. 

If you enjoyed this episode, please take 2 minutes to share this podcast on social media and subscribe and rate it on Apple Podcasts—any time you share it or leave a rating or review, it helps more listeners find the Indie Author Weekly podcast, so every bit counts! I really appreciate your support. 

And let’s stay in touch: Get podcast and book updates delivered directly to your inbox, plus unlock awesome bonuses such as free chapters of my books, at SaganMorrow.com/behindthescenes—link is in the show notes.

Thanks so much for tuning in to the Indie Author Weekly podcast, and I will see you in the next episode.