Finding whose voice?

When I started to get more serious about my writing, one piece of advice I frequently heard was, “Find your voice.” Like most advice, it’s nebulous and somewhat misleading.

Writing is not just about finding your voice, because books are about so much more than the author. Beyond finding your “authorial” voice (whatever that is), you have to find the voice of your narrator and each of your characters.

It’s amazing how much characterization can be done solely through the way your character talks—the words, the tone, the speed, the volume, and so forth. Good voice characterization makes each character distinct and memorable.

So here is my writing challenge for you this week:


Write an exchange between two (or more) of your characters with no dialogue markers whatsoever. Make it clear from the voice alone who is talking.



  1. Add this to the list of things I need to keep in mind while re-writing my book. It’s amazing how much goes into writing. Most people think writers just sit at their desk and type away, but it’s so much more than that.

  2. Ooooo!!! I like this! I’m going to work it into my manuscript a few times. I’ll have to keep it in mind when editing. If I don’t need them, I can take out dialogue markers and and save a few words to get my word count down. Yay!

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