I'm a big fan of Susan's writing tips articles, so I try not to repost all of them, just the best. It's been a while since the last one, though, so I think it's time to have another look:
[...] here’s the big secret: they--and you--probably already have a wonderful, authentic voice that is all your own. One that will endear you to readers and give your stories that elusive transportive quality you’ve been searching for. The key is freeing it from your preconceived notions of what a good voice is. See, the goal of writing isn’t to write just like George R. R. Martin, or to sound writerly, or even to obey all the grammar and spelling rules. The goal of writing is to tell a damn good story. And that means you can’t afford to let your writing get in the way of what you have to say.
Finding an authentic voice is pretty tricky. I've read stories whose content was great but whose delivery was bland. Susan lists these steps (and yes, they won't help you much without reading her article in full):
- Step One: Getting to Know You
- Step Two: And All Your Hats
- Step Three: If You Were a Noodle…
- Step Four: Express Yourself!
- Step Five: Write Dead Letters
Click through to read them in full here: http://www.omnivoracious.com/2012/04/five-steps-to-finding-your-voice.html