In the past few weeks I've blog-hopped/forum-browsed and generally procrastinated (what else is new?) when I should've been finishing my ms. And in that time, I’ve come across this word A LOT.
If an editor loves yours you’re almost there, I've heard. Don't get me wrong, there’s a serious amount of back-breaking work to be done besides having, you know...voice.
So, this got me wondering. I know successful writers who say they had to work hard to "find" their voice. Before they did, however, they sold to various publishing houses. I’ve also heard of one editor hating someone’s writing and another absolutely falling in love with it.
One example of a writer who eventually found her “true voice” is Tess Gerritsen, whose books I love. She writes pure crime thrillers.
BUT before she did, she wrote romantic suspense for Harlequin. It’s very clear from reading her earlier work that she CAN write romance and while I think she excels at writing crime thrillers, she more than held my interest with her earlier books.
I’ve had two manuscripts rejected and two requested from the same publishing house. So was it all about my "voice" that attracted them to request more of my work, or was it the whole Ok-ish package?
I guess what I’m trying to understand is, how important is this magical word in the grand scheme of things? What exactly is it about voice that attracts one editor and repels another?
Is it a “you-either-have-it-or-you-don't” scenario? Is it the difference between a New York Times Bestseller and a doomed-forever-to-be-a-wannabe writer or is there a middle ground to work on? How important is voice to you?
Would love to hear your thoughts.