There is much talk in creative writing circles about finding one's own voice; but there's a fine line between a unique "personal dialect,'' if you will, and a distracting reliance on habits of pat (and pet) phraseology.
I have just been reading (side by side — I tend to do that: dip into a mouthful of one, then a gulp of the other) Don DeLillo's latest, The Angel Esmerelda (read a related post here...), a collection of short stories that span almost thirty-five years of his career, and Richard Ford's new novel Canada (go here...).
Try it yourself. Take any two of your favorite authors and read them in digestible chunks back-to-back. It 's a wonderful way to hone your sense of how scenes are set and characters are illuminated; but most of all, how tone and voice are fashioned into a distinct, stylistic fingerprint.
Now, if only Don Delilo could avoid the word "this" and Richard Ford constructed fewer sentences that ended with a relative clause beginning with "which."
— Michael Hale
Get books by these authors here...