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Finding Your Voice: How to Put Personality in Your Writing
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Finding Your Voice: How to Put Personality in Your Writing

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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  193 ratings  ·  41 reviews
The writers who succeed are those who develop a unique and distinctive voice, one that sets them apart from the crowd. This title shows writers how to find that elusive voice and thereby improve their chances of getting noticed by editors and agents and getting published.
Paperback, 241 pages
Published March 8th 2003 by Writer's Digest Books
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Margo Berendsen
Aug 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
After you've read the writing books that point out all the errors you made when you were starting out, and then you've read the writing books that make you feel like you'll never "get there" with your writing, this book is a refreshing boost to your confidence.

"If you’ve read rabidly all your life, believe it or not, you know as much as just about anybody in the writing game. You may not be able to articulate it as well as some professors, but you don’t have to. All you have to do is follow
...more
John Hanson
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
We writers are almost constantly told about voice. In snippets. We'll read an article and it will say "write in your own voice" or "trust your voice" or "don't copy Flaulkner or Hemingway, develop your own voice." Blah, blah, blah. This is the only book I know of dedicated to our writing voice, and as such, it contains probably more than you want or need. It's overkill. Les includes many examples, passages from his works and from works of authors who have found and used their own voice ...more
Lauren
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
At first I agreed and liked the examples and opinions used. Edgerton has a fluid style and makes it easy to read the book. As I got further in it felt more like gospel and eventually I got to points that I thought was bad advice or just poorly written. For example he says trust your voice and that he has totem rewrites down to one or two... and if we go beyond that because of others' standards we are losing our voice. I think as many rewrites as it takes is what we should aim for and it all ...more
Nisah Haron
Mar 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all writers
I have learned that it's okay to be myself and it's very much okay not to sound like Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison et al, because I'm definitely not them. Thank you again, Les. After reading "Hooked", I really love this book as well. Thank you for writing it!
Ranger
Jun 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone who ever wants to write stories
Shelves: writing
I really loved this guy's stance on writing. Basically, trust your gut, get rid of that critic-nag-dude(or dudette) in you and others, and just write for yourself.
Marta Weeks
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I worte on Facebook: "I love the book Finding Your Own Voice. I thought that to be a god author I needed to be starched-stiff with degrees but it's not so. Not that learning how to write hurts, it can kill. Unless you find authors who can grip you by the gut. Finding Your Own Voice reminds me that I don't keep trying to learn how to be a better writer but how to write like other writers because I feel inferior. Shows me the way back to why I want and need to write. How to be myself and have the ...more
Demetra
Sep 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
You know that little ditty "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine?" -- It's all right here, just for you. And if you've ever questions your voice in writing, Les Edgerton—the Author of Hooked, Write Fiction that Grabs Readers at Page One and Never Lets The Go—lets you know with humor and certainty that if you let your natural voice shine, so will your writing.

His humor and personal anecdotes made this a fantastic read. Talk about voice. The entire reading experience was a lot less
...more
Lisa Ciarfella
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Mr. Edgerton is top notch when it comes to offering up the tricks of the trade to beginning and aspiring authors.
I can't recomment it highly enough!

His warmth, humor, and on target wisdom comes from a very real place, in true spirit of wanting to help. The prompts and exercises alone are more than worth the price of admission! Especially the critic nag-dude letter!

If you need a little help in this direction, look no farther. Les is your man!

Kenn
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was the first how-to book of Edgerton's I read. I had read about it in the Writer's Digest magazine and read an article in the same magazine by Les. I'm a hard-headed mofo sometimes, and Les will vouch for that, but he lays it on the line here. He makes you toss out the window everything you ever learned in school about writing.Definitely worth your time and money to invest in.
Matthew Pierce
Jan 24, 2008 rated it liked it
His other book - Hooked - was much better. Nevertheless, this also is a good book. I bet if I had read this before Hooked, I would have rated it higher.
Susan Fields
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book. This is an area I've really been struggling with, and I learned a lot by reading this.
Gisele Thomson
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a great book on giving you permission, as a writer, to speak from your core. He described well the tendencies for aspiring authors to take on a voice that they believe is writerly, when in fact, their writing is more interesting and funny when they're just being themselves. This book is definitely a good push in the right direction to get on already with producing the words consistently and full confidence that what you, and only what you can say because of your life experience, is not ...more
Alexander Darconi
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommendations
Quite possibly the greatest book on writing. The beginning section alone, which details the whys of punctuation and other stylistic choices of the classics vs. now, is easily one of the most important discussions of writing style that I have ever read. The heavens parted for me upon reading this book, and I caught more than one glimpse of the all elusive Voice that writers seek after. It did not show me what my own voice was, but thanks to this book, I now have the tools and the ability to bring ...more
pianogal
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I didn't like this one as music as Hooked, but I still thought it was a good read. He had some very good suggestions for how to work through finding your voice. Out of all the aspects of writing, I think I'm most confident in my voice. But it was still good to read about ways to protect it and develop it without losing it.
Erin Geil
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was another book that I read while in college, not for a class, just for myself. I think it really helps you fine tune that voice you are looking for that will help you write that book, short story, or poem more effectively.
Richard Cadot
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art-d-écrire
One of the top 3 best books on writing I've read in 35 years!
Abigail
Voice chapter was the most interesting. Nice exercises too.
Rod Raglin
Which comes first, voice or craft? In Finding Your Voice: How to Put Personality in Your Writing, author Les Edgerton begins by blaming all the English teachers you had through elementary and secondary school for destroying your original voice.

Edgerton believes if you were allowed to just write “naturally”, not like how you were told to write and not like how you think a “writer” should write you’d have your original voice.

I thought learning how to write came first and voice came after that, and
...more
Harry Collier IV
Feb 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
Les Edgerton has found his voice. Sure it is the condescending voice of an old man shouting at the neighborhood kids about the good old days all while trying in his mind to stay "hip."
I am not impressed with his style and find it painful to read.
With that said, I do have hope of learning something in this book and so I am pressing onward.
I think I should just get through it as quickly as possible, concentrating on the exercises and not the meaningless babble that tries to sell more Les Edgerton
...more
Rod Raglin
Jun 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Which comes first, voice or craft?


In Finding Your Voice: How to Put Personality in Your Writing, author Les Edgerton begins by blaming all the English teachers you had through elementary and secondary school for destroying your original voice.

Edgerton believes if you were allowed to just write “naturally”, not like how you were told to write and not like how you think a “writer” should write you’d have your original voice.

I thought learning how to write came first and voice came after that, and
...more
Liam Sweeny
Nov 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is the first non-fiction book I've reviewed, but I think it's a book worth reading by both writers and avid readers.

Finding Your Voice: How to Put Personality in Your Writing is, as the name would suggest, a book on writing. I've read many books on creative writing, fiction specifically, but I noticed a few things about this book that really set it apart.

"Voice" is talked about a lot in writing, and writers are always encouraged to find a "voice". What Les Edgerton, a fantastic writer and
...more
Roland Martinez
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved the exercises in this book. Some of my favorites are to talk a walk or a drive as a character you are writing about, write a poem about your story and writing a satirical letter to your (probably imagined) critics.

Les did a great job explaining why voice is as important to your writing if not more so than all the technical rules you have read about writing in the past. You can tell that he cares about writing and reading a book from someone who cares about writing is just plain
...more
Shawnaz138
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is a godsend for both the neophyte and seasoned writer. I've spent entirely too much money on writing craft books, all of which either rehash the same advice, or expound on techniques that could only work for a particular author. Les Edgerton's “Finding Your Voice” is practical, brilliant, and hands-down, the quintessential work on coming into your own as a scribe.

DO NOT hesitate to grab this book! It's consummate reference material for the serious writer.

Writers, listen: Our time is
...more
Deborah
Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was ok
I saw this book while picking up another book in this section and decided to give it a read. After reading three chapters, I realized I wasn't going to learning anything new. I've read the same information in other writing books. This book isn't so much about adding personality to your writing as about not writing exactly like your favorite author or how your English teacher taught you to.

I wouldn't say the book is bad, just that I didn't see anything truly unique about it. But a writer who's
...more
Lee Kofman
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Ironically, I hated the author's voice in Finding Your Voice. It reminded me of Elisabeth Gilbert’s voice – shrill, loud, smug and at the same time eager to please for commercial ends. Yet it seems that reading any book on writing, even a really annoying one, can teach you a lot. This one, if used in moderation and with healthy scepticism, can serve as a good reminder that it’s the writer's personality that should dominate the writing, not some ‘objective wisdom’ we supposedly possess.
Catherine Richmond
Good information, but way over-written. Could have been a blog post.

The electronic version was riddled with errors. If publishers won't appropriately upload ebooks, they should give all profits to writers - because the reader's only benefit is content, not format. And now I'll get off my soapbox.
Ummu Fatihah
Jun 30, 2010 is currently reading it
Still reading and find it very interesting.

At page 75 and found out this is an easy way to write a how to book. Just ask people not to do what are encourage by other author.

For example, common guide is to write is to show, not to tell. And this book's tip would be dont do this all the way, which is correct but sure not a new thing to us.
J.J. Reichenbach
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Everything an author needs to know about putting 'voice' into their work. This book has also proven time and again to be the remedy needed when an author is doing everything right yet still missing something that holds their stories back. I recommend it regularly to all of the authors I've edited for, and would recommend it to any author. I still reread this one myself!
J.P. Barnaby
Only one real message stated over and over

I didn't enjoy this as much as his book on beginnings. It could have been a far shorter book with less sales pitches but I did get the point about finding your own voice.
Pam Asberry
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the top three most important books on writing I've ever read. Not exactly a "how-to" manual but just what I needed at this point in my writing career. A must-read for anyone seeking publication.
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“What is reasonable for you to expect is that no matter how idiosyncratic or “different” your own, particular voice may be, there will be a number of readers who will like it. Who will be drawn to the personality on the page.” 1 likes
“By being yourself on the page, you'll more than likely attract more readers because of your individuality than you would by hiding your personality behind a neutral style.” 1 likes
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