Then she proceeded to tell us that she was currently working with a writer who couldn’t write, but everyone in the publishing house LOVED what he did on page xxx. I simply couldn’t understand why they’d put so much effort into his story if he couldn’t write. Now I understand, I guess, but it makes me sad.
I’ve seen/heard of this. Sometimes it’s what’s called VOICE. (My agent told me I have “voice” and that’s one of the reasons Bantam glommed onto my books.) VOICE sells. (And that’s a whole ‘nuther class…). Voice is a unique combination of pacing, word choice, characterization, and, well, personality. It’s kind of aroma/flavor/sparkle.
Those of you who were in last month’s class probably read the homework and writing samples from Matt, one of the students. He has VOICE. His grammar and a few other craft techniques were thin, BUT YOU CAN LEARN THOSE. You can’t learn voice. You either have it or you don’t (more likely, you haven’t discovered it or haven’t allowed yourself to write in it).
Voice alone may sell you, but voice + craft will definitely sell you. A strong voice in the first chapter will sell a book. Voice puts the reader INTO the character. (Or not, if the voice is abrasive and the reader isn’t seeking that experience… again, Know Thy Genre.)
//Interstellar Adventure Infused with Romance//