Finding Your Story’s Voice

So many RULES!!!
So many RULES!!!

The rules people play by in a critique group or editing office their honest assessment about what will help you reach a broader audience – but take everything in moderation. You can have an adverb or a dialog tag, it won’t be the end of the world, it’s just a smoother story – a better story, and easier to read by more people – to read without those things.

See why you should join a critique group, HERE

Why YOU Should Join A Critique Group, You Arrogant SOB

Don’t worry about the info dumps in chapter 1, get on to chapters 2, 3, etc., and then you’ll see where that stuff can come in naturally – or maybe not at all.

Learn about correcting info dumps HERE

Then, when you’re finished, address the early chapters again, because you’ll have decided on a voice for the whole story. Often in chapter 1 we haven’t found the story’s voice yet.

What is my voice???
What is my voice???

In my story Poggibonsi, Sam is the favorite character (the MC’s assistant). She’s witty, irreverent, and often hilariously outrageous. She appears in chapter 1 but almost after half the chapter has gone by.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but

I’m probably going to open with her, let her hook the audience, and then have the stuff that happened before her appearance (the MC interacting with his wife and young daughter) come around the next morning.

Minor change overall, big improvement for the book.

Everybody loves Sam, why not serve her up first? Because it didn’t occur to me until I was 30 chapters in, that’s why.

When I finally noticed people kept saying how much they loved her.

It happens!
It happens!

Okay, I can take a hint. Eventually. When you have a star, put the star up front. Duh. But it’s even more duh-ish to stick stubbornly to your guns when the fans are telling you what they want.

They’re fans. They buy books. Give them what they want.

And by the time you’re 30 chapters in, the voice is THERE. Friends will spot it. So, maybe, will you. It’s the words and style and attitude you take when you’ve finally relaxed enough to be yourself. That doesn’t mean burping at the dinner table, it means telling a good story in a compelling manner because you are confident. That’s a great place to be as a writer and a great story to read as a reader.

“But I’m not confident!”

Maybe that’s your voice.


Want me to critique the first chapter of your story? SEND IT. Hit the Contact Me button and, you know, contact me. I’ll see what I can do. One lucky subscriber every month will get The Dan Treatment. (Okay, I’m the only one who calls it that.)

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He looks like he knows something, carrying that computer around, doesn’t he?
He looks like he knows something, carrying that computer around, doesn’t he?

Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the hilarious upcoming novel “Poggibonsi” – yeah, we know. We’re trying to convince him to change that title – check out his other works here and check back often for interesting stuff.

Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

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