Reading is such a fundamental part of my life that I’m convinced it must be encoded in my DNA. I probably wouldn’t know what to do in a world without books. Thus, when I write about today’s topic, it is not from the perspective of an author, nor an editor, or even a blogger. Rather, I am writing as one who lives and breathes between the pages others have provided for me to read. As one who devours at least an hour of type every day.
One could argue about what makes for good reading material for a good year and still not cover all the bases. There are, after all, hundreds of thousands, nay, over a million books available within a few clicks of a button these days. Therefore, I want to be a bit more specific and discuss one aspect of what I find makes for the best of books.
For me, you simply can’t go wrong if you write with a unique voice. It doesn’t have to be composed of just one trait but it should be original to you as the author. For example, if I grab a handful of books off a bargain shelf, I can easily confuse them and get bored within minutes. However, if I pick up a Terry Pratchett Discworld novel, I would know it without a cover or title pages because I would recognize the sly, slightly skewed pop culture references and satirical taste of humorous fantasy rife with zany wizards and dimwitted guards. When you write with a unique voice you stand out in the sea of anonymous authors who hit “publish” on Amazon.
Your voice can most certainly include your characters. I am loathe to imagine a Sarah Noffke Dream Traveler book book without Ren Lewis, but that shouldn’t be the whole of it. Are you sarcastic and dry? Go with it. Do you like to describe everyday minutiae using culinary metaphors? Be my guest.
More succinctly, write from within expounding upon what you already know. Don’t be afraid to borrow from others, but don’t be a carbon copy. Give me something to remember, to make me feel, think, and want to tell my friends about. Give me you.