Voice is one of those unscientific writerly things that far transcends adverb use or sentence construction or plot devices. Good voice is like porn---I know it when I see it. I can’t really describe it. Two naked people might be a beautiful thing. Or not really. I had an encounter recently with a book by a multi-published author that I had to put down. It was unreadable---to me. I’m sure others loved it, but I found myself not understanding a blessed thing. The plot was interesting---original, even. Yeah, I recognized the subjects and the predicates, but somehow it was like reading a book that had been badly translated into English. It actually hurt my head to read it.
Do you think voice trumps all? Can it be improved, or are you born with it like a birthmark or brown eyes? Whose voice do you love? (For me, some favorites: Deanna Raybourn, Loretta Chase, Christine Merrill, Jo Beverley, Lauren Willig and the Queen…Georgette Heyer.)