How to Find and Develop Your Writing Voice

how to develop your writing voice

Whether it is through a news article, company blog post or creative storytelling, writing expresses a voice.

A writer’s voice refers to the stylistic mix of vocabulary, tone, point of view and syntax that makes words flow in a particular way. Written works can also represent multiple voices, including that of a narrator and individual characters or personas. The voice in a piece of writing is a defining characteristic that touches the reader instinctively.

Elements of Voice in Writing

Voice is one of the most important features of literature and non-fiction writing and affects how the material is read and received—completely setting the mood. Multiple authors could address the same subject differently. Furthermore, a story could be told in many ways and the results would be very different.

Voice is set by word selection, writing structure and pace. It can express the author’s emotions, feelings, attitudes and point of view, which can be conveyed by philosophical and psychological indicators.

Consider the elements that make up voice in writing:

  • Diction, or the author’s choice of words, chosen to communicate a particular effect
  • Detail includes facts, observations, reasons, examples and events used to develop the story
  • Syntax, the way words are arranged, encompasses word order, sentence length, sentence focus and punctuation
  • Imagery, or the visual representation of sensory experience, evokes a vivid experience, conveys specific emotions and suggests particular ideas

The aforementioned elements of voice create tone, including word selection (diction), arrangement (syntax) and the use of details and images. Tone is the writer’s, or narrator’s, attitude toward the subject and audience.

By working on these elements, writers develop their unique voices. Their work will be understood for what it is intended to be. That can be witty, straightforward, lighthearted, argumentative, persuasive or any other feeling.

Business Writing and Content Personality

Establishing a voice in writing is beneficial for all types of writers, including those who write for businesses and brands. It is important to develop a distinct voice that builds rapport and offers value to readers. Connecting with the audience establishes trust.

Copywriters, public relations specialists and technical writers are professionals commonly associated with a variety of business writing. Their voices must reveal professional acumen to executives, coworkers, clients and industry-wide audiences. Writers who work on customer-facing materials must also combine brand personality with grammar and customer value with rhetorical devices. A goal is for the business or brand to be associated with a certain quality and unique perspective. Voice, therefore, must reflect the manner of speaking the audience is most familiar with and be meaningful and helpful to them.

For all forms of writing, a strong voice makes every word count and establishes a relationship with readers. This is why developing a voice is important for writers.

Express YourselfAs a writer, you have to set yourself apart. Find your unique voice and unlock your creative potential at Carlow University. Carlow offers Bachelors in Communications and Creative Writing degree programs where you will learn to find and develop your writing voice with clarity, verve and imagination.