Have you found your voice? What does voice mean to you?
To me, a writer’s voice is like one of those bands who you will always recognize, no matter what. The Beatles, Guns N’Roses, George Strait, Sublime. If you’re a fan, you’ll recognize their voice even if the song is new. A writer’s voice is their own way of saying something. Certain actors have their own acting style though many of them can go from action to suspense to romance.
The sky was blue. Plain and simple. Yet take your voice and describe it how you would do it. Every one of us would describe it differently, and we even would at different times or depending on what mood we’re trying to set. But there's always this deep, underlying voice.
It’s not always easy to change or even find your voice. Sentence cadence, one word, a comma where you don’t want one but it’s the proper grammatical thing to do. How do you feel about commas? I like them when they are important. I like them, when they are important. But I don’t think they are necessary as much as they are used. In other words, I, think, they, are, overused.
To me, commas are clutter and draw me away from the story when I don’t think they are necessary. That’s right. To me, commas are clutter, and they draw me away from the story when I don’t think they are necessary. Did you catch that? What about the paragraph above?
We writers are all different, but I think too many commas, too much clutter, is taking away from your voice. I also think a comma in a place that isn’t likely is a good way to power things up and shock readers. Unfortunately, sometimes that comma is accepted only as a mistake or the lack of comma may be considered a mistake. Unfortunately, sometimes that comma is accepted only as a mistake, or the lack of comma may be considered a mistake.
I think commas are best underused rather than overused, because if the book is good a reader will usually read read read and not notice a comma. They’ll put they’re own pause where they think it should go, but a pause where they don’t think it should go may draw them out of the story. It happens to me. Has it happened to you?
Okay, so I’ve gone from voice to commas, and I really do have a reason for this because I believe a writer’s voice can be heard through the little things, such as commas. What do you think?