1. If it ain’t bolted down: Read everything- scripts, poems, novels, non-fiction, web content, tweets, even text messages. Highlight things you like, incorporate it into your unique blend until it feels like all your own.
  2. Channel your heroes: There's another exercise where you write the same scene as if you're a different writer. Shonda It.
  3. Phone a friend: ASK people who know your writing and see what resonates with them and what stands out.
  4. Act up: Take an improv, acting class, try standup, do a podcast.
  5. Be a Dictator: Dictate your writing and then listen to it.


Part 2: How Do You Develop Your Voice and Know It Is Unique?


What makes a Distinct Voice
  • YOUR POV: Your perspective on the world, how you see it, and how your background influences the types of stories you tell and what your characters say and do.
  • YOUR STYLE: Includes tone, word choice, syntax (how the words are used), sentence structure, descriptions, how you write action, the style of dialogue, punctuation, use of metaphor, breaking the fourth wall, magic realism, etc. It does not include emojis as of now.
  • YOUR THEMES: The common themes that come up in your work, regardless of genre. It is what you’re trying to say about the human/animal/robot/alien experience.


PART I: What Is the Writer’s Voice, And Why Is It Important?


10 signs that show your book is ready to be published
  1. You have checked everything off the exhaustive list.
  2. The novel has gone through every possible stage of editing.
  3. Your editor says that the book is ready (they know what they are talking about).
  4. The book has been through multiple proofreads (one is never enough).
  5. You cannot face reading through your book one more time.
  6. More than 10 people have read the book.
  7. Feedback is overwhelmingly positive.
  8. You are making unnecessary excuses to avoid publication.
  9. Your instinct tells you that the book is ready.
  10. You have made the tough decision that it is time to publish.


Jenna Moreci Explains How to Know When Your Novel is Ready


Commandment #4 Thou shalt measure thy marketing.

How do you find your way through the marketing advice smog?

  • Track thy time.
  • Track thy money.
  • Track thine efforts.



The 10 Commandments of Book Marketing - Author Media


The Stages of a Sentence-Level Copy Edit

Key sentence-level copy edit tasks:

  • Look for wordiness and shorten
  • Find convoluted sentences and simplify
  • Remove jargon
  • Be precise
  • Focus on simplicity and clarity
  • Correct all grammar and syntax



How to Copy Edit at Sentence-Level: An Editor's Guide