on Writing Forward:
Each and every writer has a distinct way of writing. We repeat certain words, phrases, and expressions; there are patterns in how we arrange words in sentences and paragraphs, and our writing often carries a recognizable tone and rhythm.
The term for this is voice.
Wikipedia defines one’s voice in writing as “a combination of common usage of syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc., within a given body of text (or across several works).”
In several of my college literature courses, we were given long lists of quotes from literary works, and we had to identify the author of each one. The professors didn’t expect us to memorize the entire literary canon; we were to have learned how to identify each author’s voice.
Imagine someone reading a snippet of text and knowing that you wrote it! That’s voice.