And how is your set of pipes?

I sing for you

When I say pipes, I mean your voice. No, not the one you use to warble in the shower and make small beagles howl in protest…your literary voice. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of potentially terrific manuscripts except they lack voice. Rather than the rich usage of deliciously placed verbs and nouns, the writing is flat and lifeless – reminiscent of my last attempt at baking.

Editors aren’t looking for stories where anyone could have written them, but stories that have a distinct flair, stories that suck you in because the writing is so compelling. It’s a fair bet that no one would pay to hear me sing because I sound like a drowning wildebeest. But people will pay to hear Luciano Pavarotti because he’s got a set of pipes that make me bark like a dog.

But this idea of voice is elusive and many writers don’t understand what we mean by voice. So I dug into my tackle box and decided it might be time to dust off some applicable posts. Happy reading.

2 Responses to And how is your set of pipes?

  1. NinjaFingers says:

    Voice is that quality which makes somebody pick up a book from which the cover has been removed and instantly know who wrote it.

    C.J. Cherryh, for example, has an incredible voice…to the point where I only read her stuff when on vacation because it’s so *insidious*.

  2. Pelotard says:

    I think I might have been a bit fortunate there. When I first came across the concept, two of my favourite authors were Robert Heinlein and Jack Vance – two SF authors with incredibly distinct voices. All the way from sentence level up to themes.

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