The only way that a story can be told apart from the others. Your voice is the only thing that makes you different from all the writers. And it’s just that one thing.
The same answer as to what makes works unique or at least distinct from each other even as they were cut from the same mold. We may use the same tropes, the same plots, or even the same story structure.
The key difference is in our voice
Our voice is a representation of our perspective, our experiences and the things that make us who we are. Which is important. Your voice is pretty much an indicator of how ready you are to publish. Take a moment to read your work, is it something that you have read before?
I figured that I was making strides in my writing the moment my stories no longer feel like something I have read but I definitely want to read. When no one else really has written the words I have. And then I realize that was how I managed to distinguish myself.
There are some ways to set your voice apart, but as a new writer, the advice is to always just write. Write as much as you can, as often as you want. Then the answers start coming.
Your voice can’t be developed until you have written a lot
But let me be honest, it will take a long while before your voice becomes distinct. I took three years of writing consistently to develop that voice. And in reality, it’s the truth that you would spend a lot of time imitating other authors before you find your true voice.
Building your voice only requires just two things: reading and writing. Reading to get a feel of the styles that you might want to adopt or imitate. And writing would get you to see what suits you the best. But it is the core. Without actually writing all the reading is just practice and you would never really get better or find it.
Finding your voice takes time, but it is valuable to have.