An author’s voice is usually the writer’s natural tone, rhythm, and choice of words. To put it more poetically--a reflection of the writer’s soul. An author’s voice is unique to each person, which is why the same story can be told in different ways by different people. In comparison, a character’s voice is crafted by the writer to fit a certain character in a story.
When there is too much authorial voice, the reader can become distracted from the story and the emotional flow of it. This sometimes happens when the writer inserts too much set up or back-story instead of allowing this information to become apparent as the story unfolds. Or, the writer may be sharing information instead of allowing the characters to do this. Or, the author may have injected his or her own judgments or commentary or opinions.
To fix too much authorial voice, a writer can revise it into the voice of a character or characters. So, an author judgment or opinion such as “He looked like a total slob” would transform into a character’s dialogue or thoughts, such as “You look like a total slob,” or “She thought he looked like a total slob.” Apologies for the lame examples, but hopefully they make the point.
What do you think? Have you ever stumbled over too much authorial voice in your writing or something you were reading?