What is the relationship between your speaking voice and the voice that appears on the page?

I think my own particular speaking voice doesn't necessarily influence the way I write completely because I'm often trying to capture other people's voices. I like to write in a range of different voices and different accents, not just Scottish accents but Cockney accents or Caribbean accents - I suppose I like to try and take a voice, some sort of voice, and up and run with it, but having said that I think that probably everything that I write would be recognisably, or hopefully recognisably, mine so therefore it must have some sort of voice. So there's the voice of your work and your speaking voice and they're different things. It's quite difficult to pin down what the difference is and what it is you're trying to do when you capture a voice. All I know is that I want the voices I create to be compelling, to be mysterious, to be urgent, to have something important that they want to say, to engage people and for people to feel that they can relate to these voices in some way. The best thing is when people say things like "That was me - that felt exactly like me" and that's the most exciting thing as a writer if you write something that somebody else has found useful in some way in their life, useful and helpful even.


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