In Search of Inner Voice


Researches are taking advantage of the Edinburgh International Book Festival to look for the source of authors’ inner voice.  Many writers describe hearing characters’ or narrators’ voices speaking to them. The researchers are looking to establish what the inner voice sounds like and how authors tune into it, reports The Guardian:

Early on in their writing life, there may be little to distinguish the inner voice of the author from the voice of the character. Writers describing the formative years of a career have spoken of character formation as a case of “throwing” their voice, frequently tasking characters with voicing what they, the author, do not feel able to express. At this time, the inner voice tends to be experienced as integral, direct and personal; authors’ engagement with the inner voice through writing may be inflected by a sense of distress or turmoil, and motivated by the need to negotiate their position in the world.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →