The best advice I received from author John Ringo was, at first glance, simple.
Make sure you have a voice in your writing.
But then one starts to delve deeper into that meaning and find themself often wondering “What does that mean?”
Your voice is pretty basic. It’s how you tell the story. It’s your pacing, your technique and your handling of paragraph structure. The best writers have a very distinct voice. Smart writers, however, steal from others.
Don’t believe me? Then ask any struggling author who they used for inspiration. Then go back and look over that author. Compare them. Eventually, you will see patterns in both inflection and speaking habits. Different rhythms might emerge from seperate books, but pacing will roughly resemble one another. It happens throughout the publishing industry, and there is no end in sight. Nor should there be, really.
Agents and publishers are always looking for the next big thing. Right now, it’s Stephanie Meyer. Five years ago, J.K. Rowling. But while searching for the next big thing, publishers often take midlist and new authors whose voice or story base resembles that of the New York Times bestsellers.
So while John says to find a voice, I will add that it doesn’t have to necessarily be your voice alone…