Mastering Voice: Finding the Magic Mix of Style, POV & Character
In a crowded market, there’s one thing that can make your story stand out from the very first page: Voice. It’s what grips us, holds our attention, makes your characters and their world feel real, and tells us we’re in the hands of a compelling storyteller.
As trends and formats evolve—especially with audiobooks more popular than ever—the way writers think about voice also must change. While “narrative voice” and “character voice” were once taught as two separate entities, the line between the two is thinner than ever. Today’s readers embrace multiple points of view, anticipate that narrators may be unreliable, and (for better or worse) have shorter attention spans than ever before.
This live webinar will show you new ways of thinking about voice and style in your writing, demonstrate how your point-of-view choices can more intimately shape characters and more skillfully build suspense, teach you to hone unique voices for every character, and help you tap into that elusive “it factor” that makes agents, editors, and readers unable to put your book down.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN:
- 4 key elements of voice: style, POV/narration, worldview, and attitude/personality
- The biggest ways voice can serve your story, with examples of each
- How other art forms (visual arts, film, and music) can help writers understand & amplify voice
- Why characters’ voices should never be interchangeable (and how to make them more distinct)
- The narrowing gap between narrative voice & character voice as POVs in today’s fiction have become more intimate (especially the rise of “close third person”)
- How POV choices affect voice (and vice versa)
- How voice relates to the increasing popularity of audiobooks and digital reading
- How voice can make or break your first page (and might be why agents don’t like prologues)
- How voice can convey backstory and other important context clues
- Interactive exercises to improve your command of voice in your craft
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
- Fiction writers of all skill levels looking to take their craft to the next level
- Writers who struggle with what voice means or who understand what it is but not how to develop it
- Novelists of all stages of a story, whether embarking on a new project, pushing forward on a draft, or revising a complete manuscript
- Writers undecided between 1st person and 3rd person POV, or telling a story from multiple points of view
- Writers with a goal to improve the opening pages of their story before submitting
- Writers who’ve received “encouraging rejections” or been told their work is “too quiet”
- Writers who know their work isn’t quite where they want to be but aren’t sure how to improve
- Querying writers whose submissions stall once a full manuscript has been requested
Jessica Strawser (jessicastrawser.com) is editor-at-large at Writer’s Digest, where she was editorial director for nearly a decade before becoming a novelist. She is the author of five book club favorites: Almost Missed You; Not That I Could Tell (a Book of the Month selection); Forget You Know Me; A Million Reasons Why; and The Next Thing You Know, a People Magazine Pick in 2022 (and new-in-paperback in March 2023 from St. Martin’s Press). She is a Career Authors contributing editor, popular speaker at writing conferences across the U.S., and freelance editor and writer with bylines in The New York Times Modern Love, Publishers Weekly, and other fine venues. A Pittsburgh native and "Outstanding Senior" alum of the top-ranked E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, she lives with her husband and two children in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she served as 2019 Writer-in-Residence for the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County. Find her on twitter @jessicastrawser and Facebook and Instagram @jessicastrawserauthor.
NOTE: Writer's Digest does not offer refunds for OnDemand Webinars. All sales are final. OnDemand Webinars do NOT include a critique.
We Also Recommend
The Complete Guide of Poetic Forms: 100+ Poetic Form Definitions and Examples for Poets