Finding your 'voice' by Sophie King

Sophie King, who also writes under the names Jane Bidder and Janey Fraser, shares her tips to finding our voice or voices:   

    * Your first and last sentence are key - these are the two that will make the agent/editor read more ...
    * Use photographs to inspire you - try out different scenarios - use them as stepping stones - do it daily
    * Set yourself challenges and meet new people - more book material to help you widen your experience
    * Try writing with a buddy to create a change in tone
    * Use a change of circumstances to help you find a new voice
    * Write in a different place, perhaps at a different time, perhaps with a change of hairstyle
    * Read what you normally don’t read to see if another genre might be for you
    * Write for five minutes each day without thinking - try subjects you’ve never thought of before
    * Think about your characters and their relationships before you start on your plot
    * Use your book framework as a guide and let the characters evolve
    * Revise your work before you move onto your next chapter
    * Make sure there’s an action point or element of conflict in each chapter and aim to keep them of similar lengths
    * Try out different narratives/viewpoints but avoid first person for anything other than a short story as it may become restrictive in a novel
    * Have more than one viewpoint in a novel but don’t muddle them
    * Make sure you have a balance of narrative and dialogue
    * Avoid writing two different books in two different voices at the same time - you’ll lose your voice ...
    * Try your hand at competitions - Writing Magazine is a good read for all writers