I’m thinking out loud here, so bear with me, but I had a moment today where I took a peek at the unread queries currently sitting in my inbox. In a spontaneous move, I began opening attachments, or skipping down to the copy and pasted text underneath the cover letter of randomly selected emails. Rather than starting from the top, reading introductions, pitchlines, etc., I dove right into the stories themselves. This is one of those tests that can help me decide if a submission will really pull me in, making me eager to keep reading. I realize that the summaries and blurbs in a query matter–because they do–but at the same time, if a book has a strong voice, then I shouldn’t need to have the genre blatantly spelled out for me—the story should be able to tell me that all on its own.
So I wonder, in your writing process, how do you manage to keep the voice of your work strong? Do you write, but then go back and question it, or do you just let the words flow and let the voice (pun and all) speak for itself?