Many characters can grow in the garden of literature, but, they can’t grow in a vacuum. Characters need a context in which to act, just like a flower need soil in which to grow. The world needs to make sense and be consistent. You need to describe the government, the people and the rules of their society and most important, the world needs to be understandable and unique. The world will throw villains and allies at the hero and they must grow organically from the context the world provides. The reader must become invested in this world. These are the most important things to know when building a setting for a story.
The purpose of a writer’s voice is to separate them from other writers, the same way a brand separates similar products in the marketplace. Editors look for writers with distinctive and unique voices because readers like unique and different spins on tried and true tales. So I need to find out what makes my voice unique and develop that. Any ideas on how I can further develop my unique voice?
I’m going to give you a little advice dear reader. I’ve made the biggest mistakes in my life because I tried to turn myself into something I thought the world wanted me to be. My most anxiety ridden moments happened because I thought that I needed to define myself by someone else’s standard rather than just living by my own. One of the things that writing has taught me is that I need to quiet myself, that is when I hear my characters voices most clearly. The point I’m trying to make is this. Happiness is a subjective state. What makes one person happy might not be true for another. The only person you need to please is yourself. When I tried to shape myself to reach somebody else’s standards, all I got was depressed. Shape your world. Don’t let the world shape you.