Literary Voice: Developing it…and defining it.

The Writer’s Voice



A book ought to be an ice pick to break up the frozen sea within us. – Franz Kafka

There are more truths in a good book than its author meant to put in it. — Marie von Ebner-Eschenback

A writer paradoxically seeks the truth and tells lies every step of the way. – Anne Lamott

Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures. — Jessamyn West

It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top. –Virginia Woolf

If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered. — Stephen King

Tell the truth but tell it slant. — Emily Dickinson

Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen. — Willa Cather

Anyone who is going to be a writer knows enough at fifteen to write several novels. — May Sarton

When people ask me what qualifies me to be a writer for children, I say I was once a child. But I was not only a child, I was, better still, a weird little kid, and though I would never choose to give my own children this particular preparation for life, there are few things, apparently, more helpful to a writer than having once been a weird little kid.– Katherine Paterson

If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don’t listen to writers talking about writing or themselves. – Lillian Hellman