Part of the problem in talking about voice is that voice is interwoven with a writer’s personal style. Several points on the list need to be taken loosely, since what is effective can cover a broad range.
☐ Paragraph and sentence lengths are varied in accordance with pace.
Monotonous sentence structures are a hallmark of novice writing. When I see sentences that are all pretty much the same length and meter and structure, I can presume the writer has just not practiced the craft for very long. Hemingway is known for his terse sentences, but he could pull off a lengthy sentence when the scene called for it. Variety of sentence structure will improve your story’s flow. Whether you prefer short sentences like Hemingway’s or long Faulknerian rambles is a matter of personal style, but either way, occasionally incorporate a dash of the other to keep readers engaged. Continue reading