Monday, October 04, 2010

Guest Blog by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen, a mystery, suspense and romance writer.

Her novel, Missing, kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end. It was hard to believe this was Rhonda’s first novel. Trapped, a book about family secrets, and magic was well written, and I had to keep reading to know what would happen next.

Now to hear from her -

By Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen

While helping out at the Middle School, I heard a teacher tell the students that the secret to writing is to talk on the page, to write your story the way you'd tell it to someone. This teacher didn't go into any more details than that, but what she was really talking about is Voice.
Voice is one of a successful writer's most important skills. It is what sets him or her apart from other authors and is part of what keeps their readers coming back for more. It's the all-important YOU in your writing.

But how do we develop a "voice?" I have two suggestions:

First, write A LOT. And I mean A LOT. Writing A LOT, such as on this and my own blogs, has forced me to put a bit of myself and my personality into my writing, because, as the aforementioned teacher said, I'm not just writing, I'm "talking" to you. Writing A LOT has also freed my sometimes debilitating, inner critic, because when I write A LOT, I simply don't have time to sit and think about every word or sentence. Not during the first draft, anyway. Not when each day I have high writing goals to meet.

Second, tell a story to someone. Even to yourself, if you're too shy. And tell it like you really want to entertain them (or yourself). Doing this will bring out your natural pauses, the words you use, the effects you implement to convey your meanings. One of the storytelling opportunities that helped me "see" my voice came waaaaay back during my babysitting years. I used to tell the kids a bedtime story about Jack and the Beanstalk. Not an unfamiliar story, but they loved it because of the way I told it. That has been key to me: knowing and recognizing what my audience loved about my storytelling.

So that's my two cents, er, two suggestions. Hope it helps. And if you have anything else to add, don't be shy. Leave a comment. :)


kbrebes said...

I think you've got a good point here, so I'm going to start looking for my own particular voice. Thanks, Ronda!

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

You're welcome. And thanks for inviting me to stop by your blog today, Connie. It's been fun. :)

Michael Knudsen said...

Good points about voice. I also find it valuable to read manuscript out loud. I'm always surprised out how many klunky-sounding things come and get fixed when I do that!