Much is written about the author’s voice (sometimes called style), especially in fiction. For example, here’s a good, short, recent Medium article about authorial voice. Voice is crucial; voice is powerful; voice can draw readers into stories, through whole books and even sequels.

All that can be true of character voice and narrative voice too. (The narrator is often a character, even in third person points of view.) But the author’s voice is and should be distinct from the others. This has not always been so, but we’ve come to expect it. It may be difficult to discern or define from a single story or book, but it can draw readers through a writer’s entire body of work.

We’ll get to the author’s voice in a moment, but let’s go by way of character voice. You’ll note that I’m avoiding a systematic definition of voice, except to say we sometimes call it style. Maybe this a cop-out, but we know it when we hear it.

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