Read Finding Your Voice: How to Put Personality in Your Writing by Les Edgerton Online

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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....

Title : Finding Your Voice: How to Put Personality in Your Writing
Author :
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ISBN : 0035313108365
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 241 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

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

  • Margo Berendsen
    2018-11-13 06:12

    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 your gut."So that quote runs the danger of making it sound like great writing is really easy, but that's where all the great exercises in this book will set you straight. Some of the exercises are short and fun (e.g. easy), but most take quite a bit of thought, imagination, and research. Yes - research! Okay, I admit, I've only done a few so far, and they took me a lot longer than I thought they would, but the result was well worth it. Here's an example of one of the exercises: "A great way to warm-up your voice is to pick the character and tone you want and write a letter to your best friend using it, no longer than a page. Or pick four words that you associate with the scene and free-associate three more words for each of these (word clustering)."The book is well organized and breaks down voice into some of its components: tone, rhythm, and imagery. In addition to the exercises, it includes discussion of good voice-building techniques. For instance, some of the techniques discussed come from actors, and are adapted for writers:"Successful actors make marvelous use of their own individualities in creating the roles they play on the screen. You can use the same technique to create the roles you play on the page."The book ends with some quotes/excerpts from authors, agents and editors discussing why voice is so critical. Here's a couple short quotes: "Your goal should be to communicate with the reader the same way they would when telling a story to a good friend.""For fiction to work, the reader needs to feel the presence of a live and sweating human being behind each sentence, a governing sensibility, a certain way of inhabiting the world."The author uses his own distinctive voice throughout the book, for as he points out several times, voice is important in non-fiction as well as fiction. For a truly great example of non-fiction voice, combined with excellent writing advice, I also recommend "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott.

  • Lauren
    2018-10-29 07:53

    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 depends on how you approach writing. Some people do end up with many revisions, but they may have also gotten through the first draft by just letting all worries go.He also says no book, teacher, author, and so on should be taken with a grain of salt, but I just disagree. We can learn from so many others, we just should remind ourselves that others are sometimes wrong, but it does not mean you can not learn a great deal from other authors or books.While I just flat out did not agree with some ideas from this book, I felt a bit of the message was repetitive. The book is easy to read because of the Edgarton's writing style and perhaps you will find some motivational or inspirational wisdom for your writing.

  • Nisah Haron
    2018-11-11 08:07

    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
    2018-11-02 07:10

    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.

  • MartaWeeks
    2018-11-10 11:55

    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 guts to tell you my truth. Not to "kill my darlings" to please everyone but to murder my people pleasing insecurity. Thanks, Les Edgerton for Finding Your Voice.EditNow I add, in no way did I intend to say that learning is an impediment to writing but to me, it was a detriment because I tried to change myself like the dough before it becomes a pretzel. I continue to read and take courses in writing but not to twist myself into feelings of inadequacy but to trust that what I learn is a tool to make me the best author I can be.Les Edgerton, you are one who gave me the courage to publish the first book of my trilogy: The Sylph's Tale, thank you.

  • John Hanson
    2018-10-19 11:56

    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 successfully. I didn't want to read all of the extras. I felt I didn't need to. You see, I didn't pay attention in school, so I have very little to unlearn. I have also written a million and a half words already in my own voice. I didn't need this book at all. Nobody needs this book. Yet we all do; because as know it alls, we really know nothing. Les lays it out for us, and while we may skip over parts or yell at him as we read, we all need to read his words and learn from him. This book is a legacy maker. All I need to do to find my voice is say the name "Les Edgerton" and all the funk flows out of my head and I'm left there with myself. This is a book I recommend for anybody and everybody. We all write; we all need to find our own true voice.Thanks Les!

  • Demetra
    2018-11-02 05:05

    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 like learning and whole lot more like a personal lecture on letting go and being myself on the page. One of my Favorites.

  • Lisa Ciarfella
    2018-11-05 13:12

    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
    2018-10-19 10:06

    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
    2018-11-06 06:13

    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
    2018-10-30 06:59

    I highly recommend this book. This is an area I've really been struggling with, and I learned a lot by reading this.

  • pianogal
    2018-11-10 06:50

    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
    2018-10-28 11:12

    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.

  • Abigail
    2018-11-03 11:59

    Voice chapter was the most interesting. Nice exercises too.

  • Rod Raglin
    2018-10-20 10:57

    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 since it was all those English teachers who taught me how to write, including punctuation and grammar, I don’t think they’re really to blame if you can’t find your writing voice. It appears the only people who are anxious about finding “their writing voice” are those who don’t write well. I advance the concept that once you learn how to write, and I mean actually put in those 10,000 hours to become reasonably adept at the craft, voice comes naturally. And you know what? I think Edgerton believes that as well, because once I got past the idea this book was about magically finding your voice, I realized it was a book about how to write, and a solid one at that, and written in an easy, kind of folksy, non academic voice. Edgerton has used the angst novice writers have about finding their voice as “a hook”, or as I use to explain to my sales staff, the USP – Unique Selling Proposition. This is to differentiate his “how to” book from all the rest. And it worked, at least on me. 30  Video book reviews of self-published authors now atNot Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH45...  My new novels, FOREST – Love, Loss, Legend and The BIG PICTURE – A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic are available on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU and as e-books at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/vi... Read Reviews https://readersfavorite.com:book-revi... Visit my publisher’s website for excerpts from, and buy links to my Eco-Fi series ECO-WARRIORS, that includes Spirit Bear, Eagleridge Bluffs, and Not Wonder More – Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients http://www.devinedestinies.com/?route... More of my original photographs can be viewed, purchased, and shipped to you as GREETING CARDS; matted, laminated, mounted, framed, or canvas PRINTS; and POSTERS. Go to: http://www.redbubble.com/people/rodra... View my flickr photostream at https://www.flickr.com/photos/7879102... Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical musichttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsQV...  

  • Harry Collier IV
    2018-11-04 06:14

    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 books and also trump the values of this one.On page 15 he actually tells the reader that if they have trouble recognizing a good writing book this book is one. How many more lies must I endure on my quest to reach the end?I have finished this book and it never got any better. I am sure Edgerton wrote this with the intention to help people and I am sure it can. The problem I had with it was that after I left the 3rd grade I went on to learn a little more about writing. Edgerton assumes that his reader has not.The exercises had no redeeming value for me but I am sure they would for someone who has no idea how language works. Things like look at something you wrote and get rid of all the adjectives and adverbs is a blanket rule with a lot of flaws. For instance, to get rid of the adverbs is admirable and what a profession writer would do, but he would also then change the verbs to stronger verbs to get his point across.E.g. He ran quickly equals He sprinted but He ran quickly does not equal He ran.Instead of telling the reader to get rid of adverbs tell them and show them how to replace their verbs.Finally, the way to get better at writing is not through reading how to write books as Edgerton suggests. The only tried and true way to get better at writing and find you voice is to write and do it often!

  • Rod Raglin
    2018-10-18 06:50

    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 since it was all those English teachers who taught me how to write, including punctuation and grammar, I don’t think they’re really to blame if you can’t find your writing voice.It appears the only people who are anxious about finding “their writing voice” are those who don’t write well. I advance the concept that once you learn how to write, and I mean actually put in those 10,000 hours to become reasonably adept at the craft, voice comes naturally.And you know what? I think Edgerton believes that as well, because once I got past the idea this book was about magically finding your voice, I realized it was a book about how to write, and a solid one at that, and written in an easy, kind of folksy, non academic voice.Edgerton has used the angst novice writers have about finding their voice as “a hook”, or as I use to explain to my sales staff, the USP – Unique Selling Proposition. This is to differentiate his “how to” book from all the rest. And it worked, at least on me.30Video book reviews of self-published authors now atNot Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH45...

  • Liam Sweeny
    2018-11-04 09:54

    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 writing teacher, shows is the number of not-so-obvious influences that tell us not to have our own voice. Everyone from your sixth grade English teacher to the iconic writers of the past and the plethora of creative writing books (and he makes his no exception, btw...) have been an influence on how to have an non-distinct, as Edgerton puts it, a "writerly" voice, or as author Tom Wolfe put it, the "beige voice." In Finding Your Voice, Edgerton doesn't set out to teach you a new voice - using endearing humor and self-exercises, he helps you uncover a voice and a style that is the most natural to you. And what's more, he shows you, throughout the book, why that natural style you have is better than any other style that's been drummed into you throughout your life.This book is good for writers, but I also have to say that if you're an avid reader, this book is a great read for you too. Much in this book helps you to understand the literary contexts of past writers, which can explain the great differences in styles between books written in the past and books written now. But, in the end, the focus is on writing.

  • Roland Martinez
    2018-11-03 04:53

    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 motivating. The main part of the book is a good group of lessons on exercises and experiments you can to to discover your writer's voice. Not to be discounted though are the two chapters that in most books would be appendices. One chapter is all kinds of people in the publishing industry from authors to agents to publishers discussing voice. I had the highlighter and the pencil out to write in the margins of that whole chapter. The last chapter is a long reading list Les has put together on books he's found to be exceptionally helpful about writing. Those last two chapters are the why of voice and Les does a great job of telling the how.I would highly recommend this book for anyone looking to find the secret of how to make their writing distinct and interesting.

  • Shawnaz138
    2018-10-17 10:51

    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 short, so I'll get straight to the goods. This is the best six bucks I've spent to date on a craft book, and I own them all. The other was “Hooked,” also by the same author.Owning “Finding Your Voice” feels a bit like being in possession of a secret formula, truly. Highly recommended. A+++

  • Deborah
    2018-10-18 09:54

    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 just starting out and hasn't read many other writing books might find this book very helpful.

  • Lee Kofman
    2018-11-13 12:07

    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.

  • J.J. Reichenbach
    2018-11-13 10:07

    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!

  • Ummu Fatihah
    2018-11-05 13:12

    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.

  • Catherine Richmond
    2018-10-16 12:58

    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.

  • Pam Asberry
    2018-10-19 05:51

    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.

  • J.P. Barnaby
    2018-10-23 07:56

    Only one real message stated over and overI 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.

  • Mary
    2018-10-27 09:48

    Some good exercises, but overall it's not a "workbook." I like the voice of the author--humorous and real. Lots of suggested reads listed in the back, that's also a plus. I took my time going through this one.

  • Lou
    2018-10-27 05:54

    I personally found this book really helpful in freeing me from the idea that my writing should be a copy of what is classic, what is popular or what I feel other people expect. Be yourself, write as yourself.

  • Annepoptart67
    2018-10-14 09:02

    For the writer, surprises on every page. Very good!