New writers often hear people telling them to “find your writer’s voice”. Well I think I might have something wrong with me because I’m not just hearing one voice. It’s more like a whole chorus. And I’m not sure where those voices are coming from. It seems like my mind never stills and those voices range from small children wishing for grand adventures to young adults finding themselves in the middle of a mystery and everything in between. Voices all dying to come out and spill their stories.
A friend of mine commented the other day it seemed like I could somehow conjure sensory images in my stories until the reader could almost feel what the main character was feeling. That I could capture just the right words to describe a world which invited others to come in and stay awhile. They, however, sometimes seem to struggle to bring their own visions to life. At the time I gave what I hoped were some useful suggestions, but I have thought a lot since then about their observation of my work and I’ve come to a conclusion. I believe beginner writers evolve over time into one of two types of writers. Some are Dreamers and some are Storytellers.
Dreamers have wonderful stories swirling around in their heads. True to life characters and worlds so real one could almost touch them. But there is where they stay…in someone’s head. For whatever reason…either through lack of a skill yet to be learned or simply the inability to bring that story to life no matter how hard they try, Dreamers are trapped in the land of dreams and readers are never invited into that world.
Storytellers, however, command attention. They play with the written word and invoke their readers’ senses until the worlds and characters of their stories seem as real as the readers themselves. To read a great book is to catch a glimpse of the storyteller’s mind and oh what dreams are hiding there just waiting to be shown to the world.
For myself, I hope one day I evolve into a true storyteller. Until then I will keep writing and keep encouraging those voices in my head to speak to me. Maybe one day I will tell enough stories that those voices will finally quiet down…but I don’t think so…
International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy) is scheduled to be released in ebook edition in the summer of 2018 from Story Catcher Publishing, with the print edition hopefully coming out late fall 2018.