Monday, August 17, 2009

Author Voice, Part 3 by Megan DiMaria

Please welcome Megan DiMaria with Part Three of her Author Voice series!

Author Voice, Part 3

I hope you’re enjoying the different samples of author voice I’ve been sharing in my previous articles. I’ve got a few more distinctive voices to share with you.

Beloved by Toni Morrison

There is a loneliness that can be rocked. Arms crossed, knees drawn up; holding on, this motion, unlike a ship’s, smoothes and contains the rocker. It’s an inside kind—wrapped tight like a skin. Then there is a loneliness that roams. No rocking can hold it down. It is alive, on its own. A dry and spreading thing that make the sound of one’s own feet going seem to come from a far-off place.

I think you'll agree that Ms. Morrison definitely has her own distinctive voice. I love to get lost in her beautiful, lyrical style.

Tangerine by Marilynn Griffith

Fall came to New York like a Good Samaritan, blanketing the city with a generous wind. Clouds floated tall and wide, majestic like a grown man a good suit. Jean Guerra lent her short hair to the cold, giving the wind a place to leave some goodness. Instead, the air blew past her face a brushed her lips like a kiss from God.

One thing I love about Marilynn Griffith's novels is her use of sensory elements. Her novel Made of Honor had so many delightful references to fragrance that I had to email her one day after I was in a soap and fragrance store in Aspen to tell her that it made me think of her novel.

Here are a few tips on how you can develop your unique voice:

1. Read, read, read—fiction, non-fiction, in your genre, out of your genre.

2. Write, write, write—don’t limit yourself to one particular type or genre of writing. Experiment. Write letters, blogs, dreams, and greeting cards

3. Copy—sit down and copy the voice of an author you admire or whose work is distinctive. You will always put your own spin on the style, incorporating your worldview and your own tone of language.

4. Limit yourself—write only 140-character thoughts. Twitter challenges you to write your thoughts in only 140 characters, you must be able to distill the essence of what you’re communicating. It helps you to boil down your language to the most meaningful idea.

Visit this site again next week for the rest of the list.

Megan DiMaria’s debut novel, Searching for Spice, is about a long-married woman who wants to have an affair—with her husband. Her second novel, Out of Her Hands, is about taking life as it comes at you with all the surprises and challenges you face with young adult children. In addition to reaching out through her novels, Megan also speaks to women’s groups and teaches on the craft of fiction to writers at conferences and regional seminars. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and assistant director of Words For The Journey Christian Writers Guild, Rocky Mountain Region. You can find her online at,, Facebook, and Twitter. She also authors an online writing column at, contributes to the Seriously Write blog, and the Coffee and the Muse writer’s ezine.

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