Monday, October 6, 2014

Your Voice Released!

I have been polishing my proposal this past week and decided to dig up one of my favorite's about art and writing...things I LOVE! Happy Monday!


A block of stone. 

A blank canvas.

A clean sheet of paper.

What life is filled in such empty spaces! 
As writers—or artists—life brims from such untouched media. And once we dare to place our chisel on the stone, the brush to the canvas, the typed word to the paper, we begin to create the vision first developed in our hearts.

If you've ever walked the hall to the famous statue of David by Michelangelo, you first pass by his "Prisoners"--blocks of stone unleashing  human form in a dramatic, raw fashion.

Michelangelo once said, "Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to find it."

Photo of Michelangelo's Prisoner by Avital Pinnick on Flickr
 As if the bodies are emerging from the block, Michelangelo's imitation of man is whispered on the surface. Not completely finished, not refined nor perfected...but the art becomes a foreshadow of the greatness in what lies ahead—the near-perfect statue of David.

As writers, we often hear judges or editors mention the word, “voice”, and sometimes it seems like a tricky thing to attain in our efforts to craft a story well. If we look at voice in three stages, we might begin to discover the releasing of our own voices:

FIRST CUT: It's messy to cut into stone. Imagine the ugly divots and the shards of marble splayed upon the floor. But Michelangelo knew his direction--to set the statue free. He continued to chip away. Remember, in those beginning stages of a first draft the words might not come easy, but you must continue to write and rewrite, chip away at the blank stone, and release your voice through your unique story.

Photo at Wikimedia Commons
RE-CREATE: Most stories have something in common with other stories, life in general, or universal themes. If we are going to connect with our reader at all, we must have “familiar” in our stories. But don't let “familiar” trump “unique”. Michelangelo didn't create a new form, but used the God-given human form to create art. He sculpted the ordinary human body in a unique way.

Our voice is sculpting the human condition in a unique way.

LIFE: The voice of the writer breathes life into the blank page. It gives the story its pulse. When a writer has grasped their voice, their story becomes one to marvel at, just like Michelangelo's statues.
When your voice continues to grow, your story will fill with life.

Just as the statue of David is a vision the viewer will never forget, your finished manuscript will boldly declare its voice in the heart of your readers.

Have you discovered your “voice”?

Angie Dicken is a full-time mom and lives in the Midwest with her Texas Aggie sweetheart. An ACFW member since 2010, she has written five Historical Romance novels, has a Historical underway, and is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of The Steve Laube Agency. Angie also spends her time designing one sheets, selling Jamberry Nail Wraps, and drinking good coffee with great friends. Check out her author page at and her personal blog at 


Casey said...

This line: Our voice is sculpting the human condition in a unique way.

Pure. Brilliance.

I never thought of voice that way. Wow, Ang. yes.

Angie Dicken said...

Thanks, Casey! Voice is such a hard thing to grasp, but those who have done it well, really do make the everyday emotions pop!