Geoff Herbach on Personal Voice

It’s been a good run. Over the course of the past month, Geoff Herbach, author of Stupid Fast and Nothing Special, has stopped by Figment every Friday to dish out some golden nuggets of writerly advice, a handful of goofy and challenging prompts, plus a whole lot of personalized advice and tough love. Before we bid Geoff adieu for now, he’s got one last video and writing prompt to share with us.

During his stint at Figment, Geoff’s helped us get some practice in writing detail-filled sentences, crafting complex characters, setting the scene and whipping up authentic dialogue. This week, he focuses on one of the most important aspects of any writer’s craft: his or her individual voice.

No matter how much you want to write like Hemingway or Salinger, you’re not either of them: you’re you. What is it that makes your voice special, and different from how other authors write? Watch Geoff’s video below for some advice, and then write based on the scenario below the video, all the while thinking about your individual voice.

Tag your piece HerbachWriting5 by next Friday, 4/13. Geoff will be offering feedback on several of the responses, so don’t miss out on the last chance to get some of his words of wisdom!

Feel up to a writing challenge? Try this out, in your own voice!

1. YOU HAVE A CHARACTER WHO DRIVES.
2. A BIRD HITS THE WINDSHIELD.
3. THE WINDSHIELD CRACKS.
4. YOUR CHARACTER PULLS OVER.
5. THE BIRD IS HOLDING A TINY SCROLL IN ITS LITTLE, DEAD BIRD CLAW.
6. YOUR CHARACTER READS THE SCROLL.
7. IT IS A MESSAGE ADDRESSED TO YOUR CHARACTER!

At the bottom of your piece or in the description, include a brief note describing your voice, and don’t forget to tag it with HerbachWriting5.

Contest Entries

  • Mark-from-birds-flying-into-windows
    • 0
    • 0

    A Little Birdie

    The road doesn't know anything, but the bird knows everything.

    View Entry »
  • Black-scrolls
    • 1
    • 0

    Black Scrolls

    Written 2012 I get my driver's license. Not bad? Maybe. Until a freakin' Ravens hit my window... And...wait, a note? For HerbachWr…

    View Entry »
  • Rock_pigeon_1
    • 3
    • 1

    To Relax

    A bird has some few choice words for Marjorie this time around.

    View Entry »
  • Fine
    • 3
    • 0

    Fine

    For the Herbach Writing 5 prompt. This is my voice. © 2012 by Savannah Patterson. All rights reserved

    View Entry »
  • Cover-normal
    • 0
    • 0

    Voice Challenge

    I like to think that my voice is sardonic, pessimistic, and humorous all in one. My friends tell me that my voice is that of a mid…

    View Entry »
  • Cross-sparrow
    • 2
    • 0

    The Hard-Nosed Sparrow

    For the Geoff Herbach writing challenge 5. My voice is slightly humorous, and pays attention to detail.

    View Entry »
  • Back in the game
    • 1
    • 0

    Back in the Game

    It's been too long. He's itching to get back to that hidden world, to hold the power of life and death in his hands again...

    View Entry »
  • Hooded-001
    • 2
    • 1

    Dead Bird

    For Geoff Herbach writing contest. Cover credit to Elaine Harlington.

    View Entry »
  • Fwe
    • 2
    • 0

    Misericordia

    I like to think of my voice as calm, and quiet. Loud when only it is needed to command order. Horrible with accents, but easy to contr…

    View Entry »
  • Themessage
    • 12
    • 4

    The Message

    Clara's life had been scarred the moment her little brother died in a car crash that she assumed was her fault. But when she finally g…

    View Entry »
  • Wide eyes
    • 2
    • 0

    Silent Gravity

    My voice? My voice is : limited words, infinite meaning. I tend to choose my words very carefully; every word in my piece counts. I l…

    View Entry »
  • Cortonian message
    • 0
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    Threats

    An exert from a book I'm writing. I probably won't have to explain as much in the actual story, because most of it you'll probably kno…

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