Kelly Barr, Professional Freelance Editor

I have found that I like editing as much as I like writing and have begun my own Professional Freelance Editing business. I have four years of experience editing fiction. I also love to help people improve their writing skills. Therefore, if you have a fiction manuscript or short story you would like edited, check out my “Editing Services” page for more details–simply click on the “Editing Services” tab at the top of the page.

Also, note my button on the sidebar: I am a member of The Christian Pen: The Proofreaders and Editors Network.

Here is what one of my client’s has to say about my work:

“Kelly is a pleasure to work with. She is well-versed enough to understand the nuances of my genre (Christian Speculative) even though she doesn’t write Speculative. She knows her craft and is sensitive and gentle when giving input about things that need to be corrected or rewritten. Her notes are thoughtful and her suggestions made my book a better read and a more polished final product. ‘The Sorcerer’s Bane‘, book one of my series The Seven Words, is slated to be released soon and I will continue to seek her professional help on future manuscripts.  — C. S. Wachter

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The Importance of Your Voice

It’s been a while since I posted anything truly writing related, and I experienced something recently that really got me thinking about the importance of your voice in your writing.

Since each of us is unique, it is important that we use our own unique voice in our writing. That is what will define our writing as our own. Therefore, it is important to develop and use your voice in your writing. It is also important not to let anyone change your voice, not even your editor or publisher.

Yes, an editor and publisher know what works and what doesn’t in stories, and they know what’s selling. They may require edits, revisions and rewrites which will improve your overall story, your characters, or your plot. But be sure you understand what “voice” is, and don’t let them change your “voice”, for that is what makes your story uniquely yours.

Do you have a favorite author? If you were to read something by that author that didn’t identify the author, would you still recognize that it was written by that author? Of course you would. That is the author’s voice. It is everything that makes that author’s work unique to that author in such a way that his/her readers recognize it.

You can find lots of wonderful, helpful information that explains “voice”, both the author’s voice and the character’s voice simply by Googling “Voice in Literature”. I don’t want to get into a lot of the technical aspects of “voice”. That’s not what this post is about.

This post is about encouraging you to find, strengthen, and use your voice in your writing, and to encourage you to stand strong and not let ANYONE change your voice–that part of your writing that makes it uniquely yours.

Here is what I have recently experienced that has taught me the importance of my voice. One of my recent Friday posts of a poem was read by a friend/fellow writer who thought my poem was too “wordy” and wanted it to have more “imagery”.

Now, granted, I know that painting mental pictures with good, brief description is something I need to continue to work on in my writing. However, I do not claim nor aspire to be a poet. My poetry is something I just enjoy dabbling in and sharing here, and if you like it, that’s fine, and if you don’t like it, that’s fine too.

So, anyway, my friend/fellow writer rewrote my poem to take out what this person felt were my un-needed words to make the imagery stronger. Then this person read her rewritten version of my poem to me. It was quite nice, but as I listened I realized that it didn’t sound anything like me, but it did, indeed, sound like this friend/fellow writer.

I understand this friend/fellow writer was simply trying to be helpful, and I am always open to feedback and suggestions on my writing, and I was not offended or angry in any way. As a matter of fact, I often seek this friend’s opinion of my writing out and appreciate this friend’s feedback, and I always consider this friend’s words/suggestions. But as the rewritten version of my poem was read, I just thought “that wasn’t my voice”, so even though the friend said, “It’s still your poem”, it didn’t feel like my poem, and it didn’t sound like my poem because it had lost my “voice”.

That is why I say, always be open and willing to hear advice and gentle criticism of your writing, but be sure your writing NEVER LOSES YOUR VOICE!

The Briskness of Fall by Kelly F. Barr

The Briskness of Fall
by Kelly F. Barr

Fall comes in
With a chilly breeze;
I am enthralled by a ballet
Of dancing leaves.

Through leaves on the ground
Playful, busy squirrels scamper;
In my front yard, robins abound
Fueling their bodies as temps become damper.

Soon they’ll fly south and others will follow.
As the cold winds blow, less songs the birds sing
Will reach my ears as I stay warm; my heart a bit hollow,
Until robins and warm breezes return in the spring.

White Chocolate Moments by Lori Wick

White Chocolate Moments by [Wick, Lori]

This is the third Lori Wick book I have now read, and of the three, I have to say this is my least favorite. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it, but I did struggle with some of it.

Arcineh Bryant is the main character and in the first couple of chapters, some of the things that happen are written so quickly and with little detail that it jolted me a bit. Arcineh’s grandfather is a main character in the book as well, and his character frustrated me quite a bit. He seemed to contradict himself quite a bit.

However, as I reached the final third of the book, I began to understand some of the characters better, and cared for them more. I would say the last third of the book was the best part.

Lori writes complex characters. However, I sometimes think they are too odd and it takes a while to understand why they are the way they are.

I will continue to read books by Lori Wick, but my favorite so far, remains Sophie’s Heart. Those characters never seemed odd to me. They seemed realistic based on their circumstances, and I know different people react differently to their circumstances. I guess I just don’t know anyone who reacted to circumstances the way some of the characters in her other books did, which made them seem odd to me.

If you’ve read any of the three Lori Wick books I posted about between my post last Monday and today’s post, did you find any of the characters odd? If so, in what way?

Misty and the Children by Kelly F. Barr

Misty and the Children
by Kelly F. Barr

Lots of voices float through the air;
The laughter of children tickles my ears.
Multiple grades and ages; as Misty sits and stares.
Her tiny head and ears twitch at the sounds of the dears.

Misty’s little body usually trembles and she barks loudly
For she was a rescued dog and people cause her fear.
Right now she sits alone, upright, proudly
Until the chattering children draw near.

Then she rises, body shaking, as she moves away.
The younger children would like to touch her
But she runs to her owner where she stays
As she watches and in her throat rumbles a “grrr”!