Monday, January 26, 2015

Guestopia! Interview with NA author E.L. Wicker

This month, I invited a very special author I've had the pleasure of working with, the beautiful and talented NA writer E.L. Wicker, to join us on YAtopia and tell us about her debut book, Fractured Immortal.

Hi Emma! Thanks so much for letting me interview you. Let's get to it!

Are you self published or traditional?
I self-published.

Is this your first published book?

What’s it called?
Fractured Immortal

Which genre?
Paranormal Romance

Which age group?
New Adult

Is it a series or standalone?

Do you have another job?
Paid job – No. But I do a vast range of things for other writers from Beta reading (which I suck at because, before you know it, I’ve got the red pen in my hand and I’m into full blown critique mode), free promotion, free formatting, free blog tour design and I have some really great critique partners.

Did you receive many, if any, rejections prior to publication?
I only queried one agent and it was a very early draft. My cheeks go pink thinking about it. The manuscript was in terrible shape and I had no business querying. Lesson learned. It takes many, many drafts to make a book!

What were you doing or watching when the first idea for this book sneaked up on you?
I was listening to ‘Let Her Go’ by Passenger and all these images started popping into my head. One image or ‘scene’ in particular and actually the only scene that made it into the book – the moment where Ilia meets Nathaniel for the first time. I felt that I needed to write the story around that scene. A few months later, Fractured Immortal was born.

How long did you plot/plan until you started writing it?
As I mentioned above, I pictured that scene and it took me a while before I realized that it wasn’t going to go away. It intrigued me and I started thinking – where can I go from here? About two months later, I began creating the characters. From there it became a case of write, write, write. There are many scenes that didn’t make it into the book. I think if I put the complete book with the outtakes, the book would double in size. I am a true pantser so if something didn’t work when I’d written it, it got chopped.

When you started, did the story flow naturally or did you have to step in and wrestle it into submission?
I am a linear writer. From chapter one all the way to the end, I keep it going. Sometimes I have to stop and cut a chapter here or there because it wasn’t right or the chapter was really just a scene that needed no more than a couple of paragraphs. I battled furiously with a particular character throughout the process, but in the end, he shaped up better than I imagined him.

How long did the first draft take to write?
From October 2013 to April 2014. From there I spent nearly every waking hour rewriting, cutting, adding and polishing. In late May / early June, I thought it was complete. I thought wrong! In August 2014 my critique partners ripped their way through it and more chapters got deleted. From there another Beta reader (who is a lot like me and goes all CP on it) went through it for the first time. She did the same again prior to release to make sure it was perfect. When it was finally ready, it went to an editor and more changes were made, though they were small and involved tightening some of my language and weeding out repetitive phrases.

How many drafts did you write before you let someone read it? Who was that someone?
Honestly, I don’t know how many drafts but I can tell you with certainty that when I did unleash it, it wasn’t ready. My first Beta reader was Nori, aka ReadWriteLove28. She provided great feedback, all of which I actioned. I feel sorry for her that she had to read such an early version. Writing is a learning process, I learned a lot!

Did you employ an editor/proofreader or did you have critique partners/beta readers?
I used all of the above. I have a beta reader list the length of my arm and my critique partners, Kathleen Palm and Natasha Raulerson were excellent. Then, off it went to my editor, Kate Foster (me!) who did a terrific job honing and polishing it. Then it went back to Nancy Griffis, the most in depth Beta reader I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

Roughly how many drafts did it take before you felt ready to publish?
Far too many to count. I think my laptop is close to exploding with the amount of files I have. I have this habit of never deleting a draft, just in case.

Has the book changed dramatically since the first draft?
Yes. The first draft contained multiple POV’s. A total nightmarish mess. Lucas, Kyle, Nathaniel and Ilia all had their own chapters as well as 3rd Omniscient flashbacks to 1810, a prologue with the antagonists POV and some other rubbish stuff!

Are there any parts you’d like to change even now?
I could have messed with Fractured Immortal for eternity but there comes a time where you have to say, that’s it – that’s the story, if you meddle anymore, you’re going to break something.

What part of writing do you find the easiest?
The dialogue between Kyle and Ilia, it flowed quite naturally and the battle scenes, which I thought would be the hardest. They weren’t easy, as such, but they were very enjoyable to write.

What part do you find hardest?
Nailing the backstory was so difficult. I knew what happened, but trying to express it without dumping it on the reader, I found that really tough.

Do you push through writing barriers or walk away?
I have a mini-fit, tell myself I can’t possibly do it, I’m totally rubbish and what on Earth was I thinking when I decided to write a book. Then I spend a while ignoring the book, maybe write a blog post or listen to music, then I get back at it. I push through the barriers eventually, but that sometimes requires walking away for a brief period.

How many projects do you have on the go at the same time?
I prefer to have only one project on the go at a time but right now, I have two, which is driving me batty.

Do you think you’re born with the talent to write or do you think it can be learned?
That’s a tough one to answer. My family are mostly artists, my sisters and my daughters can literally bring things to life on canvas, but me, I fail at drawing even the simplest of things. It became evident early in my life that I was a bookworm and writing began as soon as I could put pen to paper and structure, albeit very badly, my own scenes. The brain is a wonderful thing and a scientific study showed how, in seasoned writers, a part of the brain called the caudate nucleus becomes very active when writing. The study compared novice writers against experienced ones, that part of the novices' brains remained pretty much dormant. But can you teach that part of your brain to become active? I’m afraid I lack the qualifications to say.

How many future novels do you have planned?
I have three planned but I have another idea floating around inside my head, developing itself. I know I’m going to end up writing it because its got that same persistence about it that Fractured Immortal had.

Do you write other things, such as short stories, articles, blogs, etc?
I write blogs, I also like writing lyrics.

What’s the highlight of being published so far?
The biggest highlight so far is logging onto Twitter and one of my friends had retweeted a tweet she’d seen about my book. I was over the moon, serious happy tears.

Give YAtopia five writing tips that work for you.
When you can’t seem to form the words, listen to music to get the creative juices flowing. This works for me.
Listen. If the same thing is being flagged by different people over and over, then you have a problem so listen to what your beta readers / critique partners / editors are saying and revise.
Another listen. If your brain is nagging at you that something isn’t quite right, try to work through it before pressing on. I recently ended up ditching 40-50k words because my brain kept telling me something was off. When I found what it was, I had to rewrite because it was something that took my story in the wrong direction. I could’ve saved myself a lot of work and time had I listened.
First drafts are just that, first drafts. Don’t think your first draft of your MS is the final draft, it rarely – if ever – is. Keep at that first draft until you have a shiny manuscript.
Lastly, when you’re feeling a bit rubbish and you think you can’t do it, know this – yes you can. You just have to take a breath, regroup your thoughts and then get back at it. You CAN do it.

And one that doesn’t.
Write what you know. Poppycock. If I wrote what I knew, I’d have a story about a dog that puffs heinous smelling air from his butt and an evil cat that pasted part of my manuscript on Facebook –  as my status. And while that might sound mildly amusing, I can’t write a book about smelly farts and a cat that walks across the keyboard. Well, maybe I can, but I would have to build a plot around it and they would be minor parts of the story. I don’t know how to write a mystery or a thriller, I don’t know how to write for middle grade but I also didn’t know how to write New Adult. In one of the manuscripts I’m working on now, I had to thoroughly research DNA. I knew nothing of DNA before I started writing and now I do. Write what you know, pfff. If you don’t know it – learn it. James Patterson was not a policeman, Andrew Gross was not a policeman, either, or a hedgefund manager and Enid Blyton didn’t have a magic tree in her backyard or was J.K. Rowling a pupil at Hogwarts. If it’s not real, imagine it, if it is real, research it.

Can you give us a clue or secret about the next book?
A regular character will die and it breaks my heart, but it’s key to the development of another character.

What question have you always wanted to be asked but never have? What would the answer be?
Why a book about vampires? Because I wanted to. I had neither read nor watched Twilight when I began Fractured Immortal and it’s gets on my nerves when I see people tweeting rubbish things like ‘tired of seeing vampire books – read mine, guaranteed no vampires’ – (actual tweet or close enough) –oh, get a grip. Don’t bash one genre to try and sell another. It’s not cool and I will send my dog to expel air in close proximity to your nasal passages.

Thank you so much for joining us, Emma, we wish you so much luck with Fractured Immortal. 

If you haven't read Emma's awesome book, then here are the links to purchase! Trust me, it's worth it and this is truly an author to look out for.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Seven Book Marketing Ideas

Last year was pretty amazing for me. I finally signed a publishing contract and announced my big news to the world. For now the excitement is subsiding a little (I’m clinging on),


so I’ve forced myself to start thinking about the next steps. It’s generally accepted that most authors don’t write for the money, and we all know we have to do a lot of the marketing and promotion ourselves these days to increase book sales. Well, this is my next step, deciding what, when, how, and where to get my novel read. Here’s a few ideas I’m dabbling with, and I'd love for you to share your experiences with me.

Social Media/Online Presence
Yeah, obvs. In fact, there’s some crazy belief that authors are assessed by the number of Twitter followers they have. Pretty silly. But virtual presence is a must. Plus, most of the sites are free to set up a profile: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. etc.. Can’t think of a negative, other than the amount of time I’d need to dedicate to these sites, especially if I set up accounts on all of them. Time that probably ought to be spent writing. Oh, and a website is a definite asset – I’ve got one, so for me it’ll again be keeping it updated and interactive, particularly as I write for kids.

I see lots of these going on. I’ve entered a few myself. It’s a good way to reach more readers who will hopefully like my book and tell more people about it. Word of mouth is, without doubt, still the biggest way to spread the love, and increase sales. Along the same lines, I’m also thinking of donating a book to local children’s wards as well as copies to school libraries, etc. There’s also giving books to raffles at local events and perhaps even national ones, too. So obviously the downside is paying for these books, but if it leads to more sales then I guess it has to be done. 

I’m already working on this; offering advance copies to book reviewers and bloggers. A great way to get my name out there nice and early. There are certain very trusted and experienced reviewers around; I follow an awful lot on Twitter. I guess the risk involved here is if they don’t like my book and the review isn’t great. Only I can decide if this is a risk worth taking. I’m trying to get as many kids to review it, too, as I’d like to set up a page on my website dedicated to this. I’m thinking maybe of the odd competition for the best reviews – maybe even write to schools and get more kids involved.

Interviews, blog tours and guest appearances
Again, there are plenty of wonderful and well-respected bloggers out there who spend their time interviewing and hosting authors. Often they might request authors to be interviewed via social media sites, so I’m keeping an eye out. No negatives really, other than the questions they ask might be tricky to answer, but hopefully I’ll be OK considering I’m a writer! I’m also considering other mediums; radio, newspapers, magazines, TV (if I’m lucky). But all in good time with these.

Book launches/parties/signings
Another obvious one. Connecting directly with readers, but this time in the flesh. Hard, as I’m a classic writer who resides (hides) in hermitville.


If I can remove the pyjamas and brush my hair, I plan to find local bookstores, libraries and other venues that might be happy to have me; throw a party; sell and sign some copies of my book. Sounds easy enough, unless no one turns up. I’m really working on making it appealing and sound fun, different, offer those who come something for free; from a cake to a bookmark to a raffle prize. Anything to draw in the crowds. Or at least more than five people!

Sponsorship/paid advertising
I’m well aware of the hordes willing to take my money and advertise my book; maybe tweeting information about it and a link five times a day. Some are great; some aren’t so. I guess, it’s all in the research. I am following, checking and watching any services I’m interested in using, making sure they really do plug those authors who sign up for their services, but in a decent, classy way. Money is precious, so I plan to spend it wisely.

School/writing group/community group readings
This is something I need to build up my confidence for, but I think a brilliant way to get work into lots of new hands. When I’m ready, I will advertise my willingness on my website and via social media; contact local groups and learning centres; contact coffee shops and libraries; request testimonials after the visit, etc. No downside really, other than me needing to socialise and stand up in front of lots of staring, expectant faces, whilst fighting the crimson cheek attack. 

These are the first options I’m working on but, if you can think of anything else, anything revolutionary and guaranteed to bring success, please tell me and other YAtopia readers in the comments. If something has worked for you I’d love to hear about it. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

#PitchMadness - You'll be sorry if you don't check out my team!

I'm one of the hosts for Pitch Madness again, thanks to the amazing Brenda Drake.

Don't know what Pitch Madness is? Quite simply put, it's a pitch contest where you have the opportunity to get your pitch in front of agents...lots of agents. And it has a theme each time. This year's theme is the game SORRY!

There's four teams, each team picks 15 entries from the hundreds and hundreds of entries submitted. That's 65 that end up on display. It can be any genre, as long as it's fiction and in either the Adult, NA, YA or MG categories.

Agents then make bids on the ones they are interested in seeing.

So here's my team for 2015:

Co-Host: Jeyn Roberts

Jeyn Roberts is an amazing author who writes super creepy books that keep you up at night. Follow her on Twitter!

Slush Reader: Meagan Rivers

Meagan Rivers is the reason I am addicted to Courtney Summers. She was part of my team last year, and I'm excited to have her back. Follow her on Twitter!

Slush Reader Lauren McKellar

Lauren McKellar is a fellow Aussie author who writes amazing contemporaries and is another return team member. Follow her on Twitter.

Keep an eye out on Down Under Wonderings as I will be interviewing these gorgeous gals so you know what they'll be looking for when we're building our Pitch Madness team. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Writerly Resolutions

It's the new year and for once I'm actually managing to write 2015 when required. Usually I'm stuck writing the previous year's date until sometime in the summer.

Every year as January approaches, my social media feeds start flooding with resolution-related posts. Whether it's about wanting to start a new diet, take up a new activity, get into shape, or finish the pesky work-in-progress, the start of a new year is seen as a clean slate, an opportunity to do things better if not differently.

Like everyone else, I too have been thinking about 2015 and how I might do things differently. To be honest, I have a slight advantage here because I immigrated just before Christmas. 2015 promises a boat-load of new experiences for me because I'm in a new country, going to be learning a new language, will have to start carving out a life for myself from scratch having known no one in Sweden before making the move and I'll be trying to find a new job while somehow continuing to write through all the turmoil.

But, as cool as much of that is, I'm still left pondering about writing specific goals. As much as I would like to put 'get a book published with one of the remaining big publishers' down as a goal, this wouldn't really be fair. Goals, by definition, mean that they should be something we can work toward by following certain steps and achieving certain milestones. Getting a book published - unless you're self-publishing - isn't something you, the author, has control over. You have no control over how an editor will feel about your book and whether or not those feelings will translate into a publishing deal. Instead of fretting over things out of my control, this year I've decided to dream big, but set myself more realistic writing goals.

1) Finish the manuscript - this applies to all my Shiny New Ideas currently in the works. No matter how much I love a project or believe it could be 'the one' to make that publishing dream come true, if it languishes half finished on my hard drive, it's not going to bring me any closer to those dreams.

2) In order to achieve goal #1, my next goal has to be: write whenever you can. I've been spoiled in the past where I could set entire days aside to write and take an hour getting into the zone, editing and rereading yesterday's words before starting to lay down fresh sentences. I'm probably not going to have that luxury this year, so my goal is to make the most of whatever writing time I do have.

And that's it. Those are my writing goals because these are the two things I know I can control and hopefully achieve. I'm going to have so much else going on in my life this year that writing needs to be as stress free as possible because I want it to be something I can come home to after a rough day and not the thing that makes my day rough from the start.

What are your goals this year? Anything specifically writerly you'd like to achieve?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Publishing is a House with Many Doors

You don't need an agent.

But, Sean! you say. Aren't you always spouting advice about how to query and interact with agents?! Now you're telling me not to even bother?!

Go back to my first sentence. I said you don't need one. You can certainly want one. I do. It's a personal preference. Agents do a great many things you probably already know about.

But let's face facts. Sometimes agents might not think your manuscript is sellable in the market at that time. Should you trunk the novel? If you want to. However, allow me to offer another option.

While many big publishers require an agent to be the contact point between author and editor, there are many amazing publishing houses that accept unagented submissions. Tor is one that comes to mind, which is great for peeps like me who write speculative fiction.

That's right, kids. You can basically be your own agent.

Many, many, many authors did the reverse of what is thought to be the standard way to get published.

Brandon Sanderson met his editor at a convention and was offered publication. Then he went looking for an agent. His Writing Excuses co-host, Dan Wells, did the same thing.

And let's not forget smaller publishers. Sure, there are a lot of crap ones out there that slap their books with a stock photo and some cheesy font, and whose website looks like it was designed by your seven-year-old niece. But there are tons of amazing independent publishers that do some stellar work and whose books sit on the same Barnes and Noble shelves with Random House, William Morrow and the rest.

If you want an agent first, that's great! Do it. If you exhaust that, but still think your book is sellable and ready to rock, don't shy away from submitting to willing editors.

Just because one door closes, doesn't mean you should mope away down the street. Publishing is a house with many doors, and one will open for you if you just keep knocking.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Sneak Preview: CALL SIGN: KARMA

I wanted to kick off the New Year with a bang, so I sneaked in to take an early spot on the blog before my official post. My wonderful friend and agent, Jamie Rae, releases her NA Romance book CALL SIGN: KARMA on the 5th of January 2015, and being the wonderful person she is, she's agreed to let the YATopia readers have a sneak preview of what's to come! I  hope you all enjoy, and that you can support this fantastic author and her exciting new book!!


About Call Sign Karma

Love in the no-fly zone… Distraught over the loss of her brother in a fighter jet accident, Tinklee Pinkerton decides to follow in his footsteps—and prove the tragedy wasn’t his fault. But when she’s chosen as the first woman to fly the Air Force’s F-35, her plan for a life that revolves around work is thrown off course by a handsome, mysterious stranger… Thanks to Locke’s seductive British accent, sweet nature, and one too many beers, Tink is soon inspired to throw caution to the wind—and herself into his arms. She thinks maybe love can heal after all—until she discovers Locke is her superior officer. Tink has no problem risking her life in the air, but with everything on the line, is she brave enough to risk her heart on the ground?

Sneak Preview Excerpt

Three quick knocks rapped on the back door.

As I ran for my weapon, I caught a glimpse of the man standing on the deck. He peered through the glass of the French doors. I swung open the closet, pulled out the Louisville slugger, and limped toward him. I may have played soccer instead of Little League, but I still knew how to swing a bat.

“Go away. I called 911,” I shouted.

I flipped on the outside deck light so I could get a better look at the man. I’m guessing the detectives, FBI, and office of Homeland Security would need a description.

He was six foot, possibly two, with short, wavy blond hair and lightning blue eyes that were squinted from the porch light. He held a handkerchief to his nose and wore a light blue, bloodstained, linen shirt that was partially unbuttoned revealing his ripped abs. I hesitated until I remembered I was in danger.

He had on khaki shorts, flip-flops, and a tattoo on his ankle. I scanned back to the top of his body. Muscular, tan, tall, and wow, those electrifying eyes. Holy hell, this guy was freaking hot. He was going to have a really good mug shot. If only we had met under different circumstances, I might actually offer him a beer.

A soft smile tugged at his lip as he dangled my smartphone in his hand. My wet, sand-covered smartphone.

“Son of a bitch,” I moaned as I remembered that it was in my back pocket when I fell into the ocean.

I had to get it into a bag of rice and fast. It had my music, my schedules, and all my passwords. I was lucky if I remembered my own number, let alone everyone else’s.

“Leave it on the deck. And go.”

I tightened my grip on the bat. Mr. Tall, blond, and handsome removed the handkerchief from his nose. A tiny flutter tickled in my chest. My head tipped slightly to the side. He didn’t look threatening. Minus the blood, lumps and cuts, he looked like he just stepped off the front cover of GQ.

“Sorry, Miss Nutter, but do you think I could trouble you for an icepack?”

“No,” I replied.


He sounded and looked like a real life Prince Charming. The only thing missing was his white horse. Maybe the Karma gods had sent a peace offering? I shook my head. No. My house was built of stone and there was no way I was letting a freaking wolf in, no matter how smoking hot he was.

I needed to protect myself.

But why did I need protection? I looked at the bloodstain drying on his shirt. If anything, he needed protection from me.

As if he had read my mind, he shook his head and laughed. He sat my phone on the bench, raised his hand in the air in a non-threatening manner and turned to walk away. Where was he going?

I dove forward and gripped the door handle ready to pull it open, but I stopped as my father’s stern, no-nonsense voice boomed in the back of my head––“Don’t ever let strange men into the house.”

But when in my life would I meet another crazy beautiful man with a British accent that twisted my lady parts into a knot? His hand rested on the railing as he was about to walk down the steps and out of my life forever. I cursed under my breath and prayed that I wouldn’t wind up on the news.

“Wait,” I called to him as I swung open the door.

Buy Links

About the Author

JAMIE RAE is a New Adult and Young Adult author. She writes with one goal in mind - to create stories with a positive message that will stay with the reader long after they've finished reading.

Jamie is an avid reader and loves discovering stories with a great hook. She will not eat, sleep, or speak until she reaches the end. The Harry Potter years weren't pretty! Convinced that her Hogwarts letter was lost in the mail, she keeps a watchful eye for owls hoping her children will have better luck.

In her other life, Jamie Rae creates smiles to last a lifetime as an orthodontist, keeps her heart overflowing with love as a mother of three and has perfected the art of nomadic living as a military spouse and Air Force veteran. Jamie has a passion for critters of all shapes and sizes and you can often find her sneaking them into her own home or volunteering for rescues.

Social Media

Instagram- JamieRaeWrites


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Loud and Clear: Part 4: The Technical Elements of Voice: Word Choice

First off, Happy New Year! I'm always excited for the flip of the calendar, but this particular turn into January is something I've been waiting for since May 2013 because it means, we are finally in the calendar year that my debut novel, Becoming Jinn, hits shelves! Congratulations to all the 2015ers out there!
Okay, and now back to our regularly scheduled programming: our series on voice!
This month, I finish our discussion on the technical elements—the writing mechanics—that play a direct role in voice by focusing on word choice. In next month’s post—the final in this five-part series on voice—I’ll offer some tips and tricks you can use to find your writing voice. (For the first part in this series in which I define voice, click here; the second part on POV can be found here; and the third part on tense, grammar and punctuation, and sentence structure can be found here.)
Word Choice
To begin this discussion on word choice, I’d like to return to an author I've used previously in this series: it's an example from Eleanor and Park, one of my favorite books from one of my favorite writers, Rainbow Rowell.

Here, I’m going to start with a purposely subpar version of a scene in Eleanor and Park and follow it up with the actual published version.

The poor imitation:

Eleanor came home from school. Her mom followed her into her younger sister and brothers’ bedroom. Eleanor peered at the clothes on her bed.
“I found money in the laundry,” her mom said, giving Eleanor a knowing glance.
Eleanor’s stomach twisted into knots. She knew they could only afford used clothes and other small things. She hated that Ritchie spent most of their money at the bar. It was lucky they had anything, really.

The terrific original (published excerpt from Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell):

When Eleanor got home from school, her mom followed her into the kids’ room. There were two new pairs of Goodwill jeans folded on the top bunk.
“I found some money when I was doing laundry,” her mom said. Which meant Ritchie had accidentally left money in his pants. If he came home drunk, he’d never ask about it--he’d just assume he spent it at the bar.
Whenever her mom found money, she tried to spend it on things Ritchie would never notice. Clothes for Eleanor. New underwear for Ben. Cans of tuna fish and bags of flour. Things that could be hidden in drawers or cupboards.
Her mom had become some sort of genius double agent since she hooked up with Ritchie. It was like she was keeping them all alive behind his back.

While there are a lot of differences, there are some key pieces in terms of word choice. Let’s look at the first paragraph. The imitation says, “younger sister and brothers’ bedroom.” The original says “kid’s room.” If you’ve read the book, you know Eleanor refers to her siblings as “the kids”. This is Eleanor’s voice shining through. Using “kids” instead of sister or brother is a word choice that speaks directly to creating a distinct voice for Eleanor.
Moving on to the next paragraph, the imitation uses generic words while the original uses specific, purposeful words. For example, the original uses “Goodwill jeans” instead of “clothes.” It uses “top bunk” instead of “bed”. Think about how much we learn about Eleanor and her family simply from the use of specific versus generic words. This plays out fully in the complete excerpt here.
This is what word choice is all about: It’s being specific instead of general. It’s cutting words that are unnecessary. It’s making sure the details matter.
Of course there are other things that shine in Rainbow Rowell’s piece that contribute to great writing voice: things like vivid verbs and turn of phrase (and incredible talent! *fangirling*).
But overall, word choice in terms of voice can be boiled down to small changes that make a world of difference.
And so this post concludes the section on the technical elements of voice. I hope you can see now that voice isn’t some elusive thing that is difficult to grasp. It’s not something you have or don’t have. I think a lot of voice is simply paying attention to the details. And knowing which details are the most important to pay attention to.
That's what the posts in this series so far should be showing you. Point of view, tense, grammar and punctuation, sentence structure, and word choice all have a direct role in creating a unique voice.

In next month’s final post in the series, I’ll give you some tips and exercises you can use to do what this series is all about: Find your writing voice.

Lori Goldstein is the author of Becoming Jinn (now available for preorder; Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan, May 12, 2015, sequel, Spring 2016). With a degree in journalism and more than 10 years of experience, Lori is a freelance copyeditor and manuscript consultant for all genres. She focuses on the nitty-gritty, letting writers focus on the writing.