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EPISODE 54: Using Brand Voice for Writing Fiction

by Oct 5, 2021Podcast

In this episode we will cover:

  • The importance of establishing strong brand voice in fiction writing
  • How to apply your client copywriting skills to your creative writing pursuits
  • Creating a brand voice for your story {Especially your POV characters!}

Voice can be one of the more complex {and overwhelming} aspects of writing fiction. Not only does every character have their own unique voice, but the story itself has a specific voice—think narration, genre, the language of the universe, or even the time period. Not to mention, as an author you likely have a natural voice you lean towards when writing. It’s a lot to keep straight in your brain! 

But ultimately, a strong voice is what readers, publishers, and agents are looking for. Why? The voice can grip a reader, and publishers are interested in investing in that. And obviously we want readers to love our books! 

We’re experts in brand voice, not creative writing. However, since we met {many moons ago} we’ve co-written millions of words of fiction. And we’re pretty dang excited to share that our debut novel will be published in Spring 2022! It’s a contemporary fantasy novel {speculative fiction fans unite!} but the concept of brand voice stretches across all genres. 

As a copywriter, you already have the skills you need. You can take what you do professionally for your copywriting clients and apply it to your more creative writing pursuits. Just like content creation for clients, you know what a huge time and energy saver it is to not have to hold their entire universe in your head. Similarly, getting your character and story’s brand voice down on paper so you can reference it as a trail map can be really, really helpful. Plus, what you uncover can inspire entire plots that can make your story all the richer!

 

Homework:

  • Take a story that you like, find a paragraph or a scene, and rewrite it in a different voice. Share the original + your rewrite in the Polaris Writers Lounge!  
  • You can’t interview your main character, but you can pretend to interview them. Yes, we’re asking you to roleplay. 
  • Explore fan fiction sites as a practice method for dialogue {Any fellow Animorphs fans out there? We got our start on those fan boards.}
  • Create a Brand Voice Guide… for your story {Especially your POV characters!}

 

Learn More:

 

TRANSCRIPT

Jessi:
Welcome to the Brand Your Voice Podcast, where we’re digging into how you can create personality-driven content that connects and converts. I’m Jessi…

Marie:
…and I’m Marie. We’re the co-founders of North Star Messaging + Strategy, where we support business owners in outsourcing content without sacrificing authenticity.

Jessi:
Every brand has a unique voice that sets it apart. We're digging into how to capture the way your brand communicates from the words you use to the stories you tell. So you can create more compelling content that strategically helps you meet your business goals.

Marie:
And if you choose to outsource that content you'll be able to do so with confidence, knowing your brand voice is in good hands and you can reclaim your time. We're so glad you're here and hope you enjoy this episode.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Brand Your Voice Podcast. And I'm really excited for this one. This is a deviation from our usual but it's dipping into our passion. And based on some of the fellow writers who've joined us in the Polaris writer lounge, I have a feeling we're not the only ones who love this, and this is writing fiction. How to apply brand voice to the process of writing fiction.

Jessi:
Yes, we're really excited about this because it is not just our passion to write creatively and write fiction, but it's something that at least personally, it took me a while to find where the connection between my professional writing and my creative writing was. And I knew there was a connection, like I knew, okay, I'm a good writer. I can write copy and content. I can write fiction, but there's a, there's a Venn diagram there. There's like an intersection of the skills. And what I eventually discovered was that the, the strongest point of intersection and the skill that I could exercise the most and get the most benefit in both areas tied into voice, because it's so important and so compelling in both a professional copywriting setting, and when you're working on fiction and creative.

Marie:
Yeah. And they'll just take our word for it. I mean, so Jessi, you and I have been going to conferences for writers and aspiring writers and including like workshops, treating all kinds of things since what about 2018, 2019, somewhere in there? I think 2018 is when we first started going and consistently, but I hear is, you know, when people say, okay, agent, what are you looking for? Or, okay, publisher, what are you looking for? One of the things they're always looking for is a strong voice. The book needs a strong voice, and this is not limited to books in the first person.
In fact, I've attended entire sessions on deep POV, right? Like writing... it's essentially applying voice to a third person story. This is just something that publishers and agents are looking for because readers are looking for it. If the voice is fun or interesting or relatable, or like whatever, that's going to grip a reader. And then that means that publishers are interested in investing in that. And even if you're self publishing, obviously what we want is readers to love our books and to want to read more of them.

Jessi:
Yeah. So before we dive in, I kind of want to take a couple of steps back real quick, because if you've been listening to us for a while, you've heard a lot from us in our professional copywriting content creation capacity, but you haven't heard us talk too much about our fiction writing, which is a very large part of the writing that we do. And-

Marie:
Just not through our company.

Jessi: Not through our Company, not through North Star, but it's still a very real part of honing our skills. And the work that we do in writing fiction often shows up in the work that we do professionally. And so we wanted to pull the curtain back on that a little today and talk about our creative writing careers. And I think it might be a good idea to just kind of quickly summarize what those careers are and where we are in our creative writing career, because we're not necessarily the reigning experts in, you know, writing fiction but-

Marie:
We're babies!

Jessi:
We're baby authors, but we are experts in voice. And we are experts specifically in brand voice for companies. And so what we're really interested in is where we can take those skills and apply them to fiction writing.

Marie:
Yeah. So, I guess just high level. So this is, you know, the very much limits of our expertise we'll talk about here, but, well, so JessI, you and I have been co-writing fiction really pretty much since we met, 12 years ago, like many moons ago, and have co-written collaboratively, literally millions of words of fiction. But the crowning achievement of that has been a novel that is our debut that will be published traditionally in the spring of 2022. I don't know how much we want to talk about that.

Jessi:
Yeah. We'll probably mention some high level things about that particular project throughout this episode. But, we'll also be releasing more information as we're able to. But I think the other thing that's worth mentioning is, the novel that is coming out in the spring, it's a contemporary fantasy novel and both Marie and I on our collaborative projects and our separate projects lean very heavily into speculative fiction, which is the fantasies and sci-fis and horrors of the world. All of those types of novels that tend to have a bit of a fantastical element to them in some way, shape or form. And so that's kind of the lens through which we view our writing and through which we view our own projects. But I also believe that everything we're talking about today could be applied to other genres as well.

Marie:
Yeah. I mean, people are still looking for strong voice if you will, the brand and voice of an author or of a book in and of itself for, you know, literary fiction for memoir, which is not fiction, but still is very much storytelling, right? Like really anything. I mean, you can even look at non-fiction and through this lens, like we talk all the time about Mike Michalowicz, when our favorite business author, he's got a very strong voice, in his book. So really you could apply this to just sort of any type of creative writing. It does not have to be fiction. But yeah, that's sort of where Jessi and I are coming from. And then we, yes, we both also have solo pieces we're working on. And so we may speak to some of that. We're not experts like we said, but we have studied a lot. We've read a lot, we're avid readers. You know, this is an area that we're still learning, but it is an area where we feel, we feel like we're, we're well equipped because of the work that we do professionally through north star to have a leg up, I suppose, in this side of creative writing.

Jessi:
You know, I've really noticed it actually in conversations that have happened with other creative writers where often the writer that I'm talking to who will be professing some struggle they're having specifically around the voice. And honestly, that is one area where I often find it a little hard to relate. There are 1,000,001 other struggles as a creative writer that I read.

Marie:
At least.

Jessi:
I feel you. I, but the voice conversation is one where I actually have noticed over the years, I don't struggle as much. And the only reason for that I think is because I've had so much practice through the business and through those millions of words that Marie mentioned earlier. I've been, for years, just practicing this character, has this voice, this novel has that voice. And it's become almost second nature, but just like we've talked about in past episodes with brand voice, for a company, the things that you get to intuitively are that much more powerful when you break down what's happening intuitively and create a process for it so that you can replicate it over and over again.

Marie:
Yeah. And just to be clear what we're talking about here, isn't just dialogue. Although that is a complaint I hear from a lot of people, I feel like I just suck at writing dialogue. I think focusing on brand voice of that character can really help you with your dialogue as one of the many, I'm sure there's a lot of tactics that someone could take that that could be an angle to take, but we're also talking about the voice of the narration, the voice of the descriptions, right?
Like, for instance, uh, when I was attending the future scapes con, what's it called...

Jessi:
Workshop.

Marie:
Workshop. Earlier this year in 2021, my instructor was David Beco and he recommended that everybody gets this one particular book because a lot of people were writing like historical novels or historical fantasies that were sort of like loosely based on, you know, whatever 18th century, wherever, whatever, even if it was like your own creation, it still kind of felt like whatever, some kind of historic period. And so he recommended a specific book because this book has the history of the English language. And if you want to say a word that sounds really, really modern, you know, DNA probably doesn't fit within something that's supposed to be sort of like a Western European, medieval feeling. That's like a ridiculous example, but you know, what is the character also noticing like, is this character, even again, if you're in third person or first person doesn't really matter, but if this care, assuming you're not doing omniscient point of view, but if you're doing limited, like deep POV, you know, if this character is very hungry, they're not going to be noticing maybe like the arch of the window, they're going to be noticing the grapes on the table. Right. And so like, what do we actually describe? Even in the scene, it's all embedded within the character and what's going on for them. And like, what's their shtick, you know?

Jessi:
Yeah. What's their sticking, what's the language of the universe. I think there's like a target board here, like a dart board type thing where you kind of have the closest deepest point of view or POV, which is like how the character is perceiving the world, the language they use specifically, that's unique to them. And then, you know, you go out to the next concentric circle outwards and it's okay, well, what's the language that's unique to this space. And even to this world or this universe, you can kind of go out from there because you know, you talk, you look at the real world and there's sort of the like language that we as humans, you know, use, obviously we all speak very, a bunch of different languages and dialects, but there are, you know, a certain number of ways that we described things. And then like, if you take a microcosm of that, you take, you know, the United States and there are certain ways people in the United States talk about things that might be different from other countries. And then you go even further in, and you look at geographically, the South versus the North, South I'm from the North. There's a few times when we first met each other where we kind of talked cascade because we were like, wait a second. What did you mean there? Because-

Marie:
Sorry, pop?

Jessi:
Pop, pop. Or like could feels like one too many words to me because I didn't grow up in an area where that's how you say that sentence then tactically, it doesn't mean either way is right or wrong. It's just the microcosm. And then you go even further in.
I think about like, like my group of friends that I had in high school and how, when someone would walk into the room while we were like talking and just like really going at a topic, someone could walk in the room and maybe pick up half to three fourths of what we were saying, because we had our own language in our group of friends, our own acronyms or our own slang, our own inside jokes, our own little things that made it a little bit indecipherable to the outside world. And so when you think about it in a fictional context, you have, you still have those same layers happening.

Marie:
Right. Yeah. Like what's, what is the vernacular of their profession? What's the vernacular of their religion, what's their vernacular personally. Right. And so I love this is also like a really, I'm going to have an, a little aside here, but this is where you can see like the architect part of Jesse's brain putting this into like a framework, right. This is a dartboard happening here. And where that doesn't occur to me to do. I appreciate it though. Frameworks coming out of your ears. Yeah.
So, you know, it's this is part of, what's fun about writing fiction and also can be part of what's overwhelming, right. About writing fiction, because all of this is coming out of your own brain. Everything is made up. Even if you're writing a contemporary novel, like, you know, there's this character isn't real, they're just in your head. So you have to come up with all of this. And there's a lot of really great work out there in terms of how you develop a really fleshed out character. And we're not going to attempt to touch that here. This is really just about finding voice within your writing. But I think it really is one of the most fun parts. And when you start to nail it and you get that feedback, that people are really enjoying it. They're feeling immersed. That's when you know, like you're doing it, like you're accomplishing this.

Jessi:
Yeah. I think what's really interesting to me. And what has been really interesting to me is seeing how the description of the same thing can change based on the voice. So I'll use a very high level loose example from our upcoming novel. One of the things we do in that novel is we have a pseudo rotating narrator. We have a couple of different POV characters that show up during the story. And the primary point of view character is very focused and very determined and kind of has tunnel vision towards her goals. And that shows up in the way that the, her dialogue, of course, but also in the way that she views her world and what she focuses on. And so that in turn shows up in the way that those scenes are written.
One of the other characters is maybe not quite so focused and, you know, on a single goal and views the world through a very different lens of trying to, I wanna say almost a more optimistic lens and enjoying just, you know, kind of looking at the world and seeing what in that world looks enjoyable, looks fun looks. And so, so you can take these two characters, put them in the same room and they're going to notice completely different things. They're going to focus on completely different things, and they're going to have completely different ideas. And how that shows up in the narration is a lot of fun because you can take the exact same scene, put character A in there and write it one way. And then you put character B in there. And all of a sudden you have to write it a completely different way because they're picking up on different things.

Marie:
Yeah. Even if the dialogue never changes, even if the action in the room never changes, it's the way things are described. It's the length of sentences, it's language used. And I think, you know, I kind of hesitate to bring up this example, but I feel like a lot of people who read Sci-fi will know this one, a good example of this might be Ender's Game and or Shadow, by Orison Scott Card, right? Like, I only hesitate to bring it up because I have personal disagreements, not that I know him, but I was with the author. But I think it's a nice example of having the same location, the same characters, the same plot essentially happening, but from two completely different characters, point of views. Sometimes the create the difference is because one character knows one set of things and another character knows another set of things, but even if they knew the exact same stuff, there's going to be a fundamental difference between the way those books are written just because they're featuring different POV narrators or, well, they're focused on a different third person narration.
And this shows up in our story a bit too, where like that first character that Jessi had mentioned, and that second character at different points in the story, like in the same physical look like geographic location, but they're describing it completely different ways. They're focusing on very different things. They're bringing different perspectives to what they're seeing. They have different hopes and dreams. And so it's not just a difference in terms of what's being described, but it's a fundamental to the word difference and how they're written.

Jessi:
And I think, so to kind of take all of this and put our- the brand voice process over it, there are pieces of the brand voice process, things that we've talked about in past episodes of this podcast that just perfectly overlay to this creative process. Marie mentioned the words you use, also the words you don't use, something else that may not show up in the actual words, but definitely shows up in the bigger picture of the scenes are the core values that the character holds or the core values of the universe of that world. The ways in which they look at their future is a corollary to the vision. In the brand voice process, we talked about the vision of a company, well, what is the vision of this individual person, or what is the vision of this city or this, this world that you're creating?
What do, where do they see themselves now and where do they see themselves going and on a macro and a microcosm? And so you can take all of this even.
So, so as a quick, quick aside refresher, we split our brand voice process into the core messaging, which is what I was just talking about. Like your values, your mission, and your vision core voice, which are the words you use and you don't use. And then the core stories, which are, you know, we just recently did a series on the origin story, the purpose story, the innovation, the influence. So that's an invitation to, what is the mythology of your universe? What are the stories that the people within your fictional universe tell each other about things like the origin of insert in the blank here? It could be the origin of the universe, or it could be something much simpler and much more, much smaller than that. Not as grand of a scale, like the origin of this particular job or something like that. You know, what is the innovation, what are the influences that have created lore within this universe?

Marie:
And it can be smaller even though not too, right? So like our main, the big thrust, I suppose, of the story that we've written is our main character is searching for her sister who's missing. And it was important for us to establish why that matters, right? Like what was the relationship between the sisters? What is the origin story of this search for her sister? Well, it's the way they grew up together, the relationship they have, like what made that special? What made her so focused on trying to find out what's happened to her sister? That's the origin story for our main character as it pertains to the plot of this book. You know, like in the current solo book I'm working on, okay, so he's a thief. Okay. So why? Like he started as a farm boy, why is he a thief? Now we need to understand this, this trajectory. And it all happened in his youth. Right. And so it's not that we sit down and have a flashback necessarily. These are bits of pieces of information that are just sold out like little, little delicious breadcrumbs as you go through the story. But it needs to be there in some way so that the reader can connect in and be like, oh, I see why this is important to you.

Jessi:
Yeah. And I think it's, I'm trying to think of how to say what I'm trying to say. I think that the, this is where we start, like shifting into that conversation more about character and character art.
The one thing that Marie kept mentioning that's super important to this conversation is the word why, because things don't just happen because they happen. They happen for reasons. And that goes as specific as the language.

Marie:
Because plot is not a good reason.

Jessi:
Right. Yeah. Generally speaking, you want an actual in-story reason for something to happen for some word to be important, for some description to be important.
I'll pull a real quick and easy example from one of Brandon Sanderson's series, Stormlight Archives. There's an entire vernacular that is based around the weather patterns. So like, you know, their weather patterns on this particular planet or universe involves a lot of really intense storms. And so the way they even swear is around the idea of storms. Storms is a swear word in that particular universe. Now that doesn't mean you have to go in and replace every single word with like a in universe corollary, because at that point it kind of can get convoluted and hard to understand, but there may be strategic moments for you to do that as long as you have a why behind it, as long as it makes sense within the context of the story. And isn't, as Marie said, just because plot.

Marie:
Right. Right. For sure. So I guess our point here is all of that, that you're doing for your copywriting clients. If you have implemented a brand voice process, the way that we have, and you also enjoy writing fictional stories, take the look at how you can apply those same principles of brand voice to your story on a micro scale in terms of character by character and on a more macro scale in terms of the whole world, or however big essentially your story gets. You know, if it's a very intimate story that takes place, literally in one room with one person, you may not have quite as much work to do there. But still there's probably a world outside of that room that that character is somewhat aware of. And so little bits of that can be part of your world building, and it can be a part of your character development and characterization, I suppose. You already have the skills you need to really get strong at writing voice in terms of the narration and in terms of dialogue in the fiction that you're writing. Because you know, you've got a leg up, you do this professionally, it's a little different, but brand voice is so applicable to fiction that I really think, you know, you've, you've got a good shot at being able to nail this more than other people do.

Jessi:
Yeah. So, um, we're gonna dive a little deep into nerd territory here, because-

Marie:
As if we haven't been already, you're talking about like science fiction and deeper, how many, how many more men speculative fiction writers can we talk about in this?

Jessi:
I actually, was going to bring up another writer. I was, well, I was, I was going to bring us up. And, the fact that, so Marie mentioned earlier that, you know, we've written millions and millions of words together, and we've talked about how helpful this process can be when writing fiction. Now, one of the harder things about this is when you're creating fiction, just from a blank page, you're creating everything yourselves for the entire universe, for the entire backstory, all of the things that can be really overwhelming if you're not used to this, if you haven't done it before you don't have the practice. So where did we get our practice from Marie?

Marie:
Well, I'm so glad you asked Jessi. So back when we were like both 10ish, the series came out published by Scholastic called Animorphs. I don't know if you remember this, if you went to Scholastic book fairs, you may recall, you know, in the nineties, you may recall these books that had on the front a picture of a person sort of morphing- I mean, literally that's what it's called in the books- but morphing into an animal. And the thing that was like really a hit about them, especially for people who hadn't read them, but that they were kind of cool looking is if you did like a flip book, essentially in the bottom right corner, as you flipped through you like watched it happen. And it was really cool. That was the, like the gimpic of these books. And it turns out to us at least, and, you know, a handful of other fans of this, I think cult-classic series, they were very deep and very impactful and remain very important to us from a values perspective. And yeah, just in terms of the learning and growing that we did reading these books, they are so much more than the kitschy flipbook you might think they are from the cover of marketing.

Jessi:
Absolutely. And so this is where we're kind of diving into the nerd territory, but I think it's something that a lot of writers can relate to very deeply, which is basically getting their start putting their teeth on fan works to start. So whether it's, you know, fanfiction.net AO3, text-based role-plays, forum chats, discord servers, whatever it may be, where there are interactions that are in character being written out in a pre-established universe. And so for Marie and I, it was a lot of Animorphs fanfiction and role-playing, text-based where we could take this pre-established universe that someone else had created for us-

Marie:
K. A. Applegate and Michael Grant, by the way, we should give them credit.

Jessi:
Two incredible authors who created this universe for us, that we basically turned into our playground to experiment with and to create our own characters and put those characters into that universe in new and interesting ways. And that allowed us to play with the voice of the universe, how we could shift the voice of the universe and the voice of individual characters that we wanted to introduce, you know, different characters view the problems of this universe or the climate of this universe in different ways.
And so over the years, a lot of years we've written a lot of words in this particular universe. I've written fan fiction in this universe. I think Marie has as well, you know, and other universes as well. You know, you probably have your Animorphs corollary, you probably have a fandom that you feel really passionately about that you could, if you haven't already easily create some sort of fictional work in, take a character and plop it into that universe and just see what happens.
And so this is one of the ways where I think it can become easier to practice. Because there's not the stakes of having to create something brand new. This isn't something that you're going to go off and try to sell to a publisher or anything. This is just for you just to have fun just to play and just to practice really, it's like practicing a brand voice guide on a fictional client, if you want it to just like, give it a, try, try something new, same thing in the fictional universe. And, this is something that actually in a more strategic way, Marie's applied with a story that she was working on and, and actually took our processes and lifted it into her process.

Marie:
Yeah. I made a formal brand voice guide for a story I was working. It is now morphed into a solo work in a completely unique world. But the first iteration of this story and what inspired the story is a board game called Gloom Haven, but I'm only a tiny bit obsessed with, but it's like a dark fantasy world. And so the world was already created through the game, but there wasn't, you know, it was a little, there was, there was room for fleshing out, right. The world, the religions, the different cultures and how they interacted with each other. And I was fascinated by this. And so I thought, you know, I'm going to start writing a story in this world, then I'm going to pitch it to them and see if they, if they want to like work together, maybe, which they very kindly gave me a no, but, you know, thanks. Thanks for letting us know. And the book that you're writing does sound interesting. The one that you're writing with Jessi sounds interesting. So they were very gracious about it.
But what I did as I was working on, on that book before I pitched it to them is, I mean, I went through basically every page of this, the scenario book, because this game has, it's what you call a legacy game. So it just continues. It's not just like monopoly where you sit down and it's like the same game every time. Not to mention that game's boring. Gloom Haven's not boring, but it's like, you know, you have ongoing scenarios and campaigns and you walk your characters through different scenarios. And so I was looking through the scenarios, and I would add words, right? Like the word gloom. Okay. It's Gloom Haven, right? So the word gloom, gloom and gore. Oh, what a, what a good little curse phrase. Okay. Yeah. Gloom and gore let's use that. And then that inspired me, like, you know, um, in vex it all. Right. And do you have like, you know, parts of the, of the world called the dagger wood forest or things like that. So, you know, you start integrating all of that. I was able to very easily create a word bank and a phrase bank, and I was very easily able to pull in origin story and very easily able to pull in vision, but vision for this group vision for that group, they have different visions. Right. So I was able to actually develop all of that and it became startlingly easy actually to write in this world because, you know, I was able to just literally pull straight from what was in my brand voice guide that I'd pulled just the way I would, if I were interviewing a client.
Now obviously a lot of that has had to change as I turned it into my own world, but it's inspired me to realize that I can create brand voice guides, even for completely original worlds. I can use the same process and sort of self interview. It's like Jessi said kind of role-play almost like, okay, so let me, let me talk with a person from this background fictional person, right. So you can do this a lot of different ways, right? You could like write out in an interview or you could just brainstorm, what would they say in response to these 10 questions or whatever. And that right there can give you what you need to create the brand voice guide that on the level of both the individual words, but also on a bigger level in terms of the plot, you know, why people do what they do, character motivations, it can inspire all of that. And it really has made a huge difference for us.

Jessi:
Yeah, absolutely. And I think this is, that's a good example of, you know, doing it intentionally. Whereas I think with the novel that Marie and I co-wrote, that was an instance where we did it intuitively and as we go in and work on some future collaborative projects, we're going into it more intentionally now, because it's just like with your copywriting clients, just like with content creation, for businesses, it's a huge time and energy saver to not have to hold the higher universe in your head like that a lot to keep in your brain while you have, you know, the rest of your life happening. So like getting it down on paper in a strategic way where you can kind of set it aside when you're done working on your story and then come back to it and refresh your brain, be like, okay, I am now reimbursed in this world. I can use this as a trail map to how to portray this world can be really, really helpful. Oh, sorry. Go ahead, Marie.

Marie:
Oh, I was just saying like, it also can inspire, I don't know if you're listening to this, if you're more of a plotter or a pantser as in writing by the seat of your pants. But, if you're either in the plotting phase or you are a, pantser what you uncover in that brand voice process can inspire entire plots like side plots that can make your story all the richer.

Jessi:
Yep, absolutely. So we want to challenge you to give this a try. First of all, if you're listening to this and you are not a hobbyist creative writer, I still want to challenge you to give this homework a try, because just like our professional writing has helped our creative writing, venturing into creative writing could help your professional writing. And I say professional, but it's all professional. It's just like creative writing versus brand writing, I guess.
So what we would like to challenge you to do is to take a story that you like. It could be something you're working on actively. If you're a fiction writer and you're working on site, or even non-fiction, if you're working on a memoir or something like that, take a story that you like. If it's not something you're actively working on, take something off your bookshelf, and find a paragraph or a scene, depending on how much you want to challenge yourself and rewrite it in a different voice.
So that requires you to do kind of two things. First. It requires you to analyze the voice that already exists. Take a look at it, write down what is this current voice? What are the words being used? What's in, why are they being used? Things like that. And then to create a new voice and rewrite that scene or that paragraph in that new voice and then reread it. What difference does it make to the tone of the story and what difference does it make to the characters and how the characters are interacting with their world?

Marie:
Exactly. So then for bonus points, please share what you've written. You can take the original and what you've rewritten and share it in the Polaris writer lounge. We are going to link to that in the show notes in terms of how you get in there, if you're not part of it yet. This is a free community for writers who want to network with each other who want to learn from each other, who want to have a safe space for other writers. There are a few other fiction writers in there. So, you'll be in good company if this is something you're passionate about or want to explore a little bit. But you can check that out at northstarmessaging.com/polaris-writers-lounge. Is that right Jessi? Did I get that right?

Jessi:
I think so. We're excited to see what you come up with.

Marie:
Thanks for joining us for this episode of the Brand Your Voice Podcast. Make sure to visit our website, northstarmessaging.com, where you can subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify, and more.

Jessi:
If you found value in this episode, we'd love for you to leave us a review on iTunes and share it with your friends. Thank you, and happy content creating.

For additional content strategy and branding tips, check out northstarmessaging.com/blog. Also, please tag us on Instagram and let us know you’re out there! @northstarmessaging 


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