- The Writers Voice - :: View topic - writer's voice

- The Writers Voice - Forum Index - The Writers Voice -
Everyone welcome to participate.
Let your voice be heard.
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

writer's voice

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    - The Writers Voice - Forum Index -> The Art and Craft of Writing
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
sernbr
Guest





PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 5:44 am    Post subject: writer's voice Reply with quote

What's is meant by the writer's voice? How do I develop it?
Back to top
Harry
Site Admin


Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 2505
Location: New York

PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I submitted an answer to your question, but it didn’t register somehow. I tried to explain that the writer’s voice is an individual narrative style every writer achieves in time with no effort on his part. Just as your speaking voice is recognized by people who know you, your writing ‘voice’ will be equally distinctive.

It can be achieved more quickly, I think, if you do not try to emulate other writers and if you write about things you know.
_________________
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
Ernest Hemingway
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DaveR
Valued Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 1338
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See the two posts below for additional comments.

Last edited by DaveR on Thu Jun 22, 2006 6:52 am; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
DaveR
Valued Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 1338
Location: Los Angeles

PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a difference between a narrators's voice and an author's or writers voice in a work of fiction.

An author can give his narrator and characters voices, as Mark Twain does with Tom Sawyer and Huckelberry Finn. An author can change voices in different stories by giving different first person protagonists in different stories different voices. Mark Twain might choose a tough guy voice for the main character in a crime story.

See the next post for a discussion of a writers voice or writing and voice.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Guest






PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Writing and Voice
The following material was extracted from Writing With Power by Peter Elbow, his book covering techniques for mastering the writing process. This is only a taste of what he says about voice.
The material is mostly extracted from chapter 25.


Some writing has great power over readers even though it is not as good as other writing by most conventional measures. It may not have as clear and graceful a style, as logical and coherent an organization. It may not be as original. Why does such writing interest readers? The words somehow fit the writer, and this good fit makes for resonance: the words bore through the reader. The writing has a Voice. This is a difficult concept to describe.

Writing with no voice is dead, mechanical, faceless. It lacks any sound. Writing with no voice may be saying something true, important, or new; it may be logically organized; it may even be a work of genius. But it is as though the words came through some kind of mixer rather than being uttered by a person. Extreme lack of voice is characteristic of bureaucratic memos, technical writing, much sociology, many textbooks.

Voice is what most people have in their speech but lack in their writing-namely, a sound or texture: the sound of ‘them.”

You may have a voice in your first draft and then you revise it away. As you clarify your thinking or correct your language you dissipate the breath.

Voice vs Real Voice. The speech of certain hyped-up radio announcers or slick salesmen or over-earnest preachers has Voice but not Real Voice. Their speech is fluent and without hesitation, full of liveliness and energy, full of expression, and yet their voice is blatantly fake. These people are doing an imitation of how an expression-filled voice is supposed to sound.

Writing without voice is wooden or dead because it lacks sound, rhythm, energy, and individuality. Most people’s writing lacks voice because they stop so often in mid-sentence and ponder, worry, or change their minds about which word to use or which direction to go.

Writing with voice is writing into which someone has breathed. It has that fluency, rhythm, and liveliness that exist naturally in the speech of most people when they are enjoying a conversation.

Writing with real voice has the power to make you pay attention and understand: the words go deep. Elbow doesn’t know the objective characteristics that distinguish writing with real voice from writing with mere voice. For him it is a matter of hearing resonance rather than being able to point to things on the page. It has nothing to do with the words on the page, only with the relationship of the words to the writer, and therefore the same words could have real voice when written by one person and lack it when written by someone else.

Perhaps words contain not just an explicit message but also some kind of implicit message about the condition of the writer. When the implicit message reinforces the explicit one in some right way, we get resonance or power.

Elbow says that even though real voice brings excellent writing when it is fully developed and under control, it often leads to terrible writing when it is only just emerging and not yet under control.

The problem is that your most fluent and skillful voice is usually your acceptable voice, the voice you develop as you work out an acceptable self. To get it, you probably had to push away feelings, experiences, and tones of voice that felt unacceptable. But these unacceptable elements have energy and power tied up in them that you need to tap if you want to deepen the resonance of your voice. Yet, of course, you are likely to hate these sounds: you have trained yourself to shove them away, you use considerable energy in doing so, they are part of your anti-self. When, then, you allow yourself to start using some of these feelings, experiences, and tones of voice in your writing, there is little chance you will be able to use them in a controlled and effective way. Bad writing is almost inevitable.

The attainment of real voice is a matter of growth and development rather than mere learning. In the process skills can fall apart. Fear of badness is probably what holds people back most from developing power in writing. If you care too much about avoiding bad writing, you will be too cautious, too afraid to relinquish control. This may lead to the worst fate that can befall a writer, feedback like this: “It seems pretty good; I liked it fairly well; I can’t wee anything the matter.” What they are really telling you is that they were absolutely unaffected by your words.

If you really seek excellence, if you seek to write things that others might actually want to read, you need to stop playing it safe: go for it, take the plunge, jump over the edge. You won’t know where you are going. You will write much that is terrible. It will feel like a much longer path to tread than if you just want to get rid of badness. But you will get rewards. You will get lots of feedback and it will be interesting. People will hate some of what you write and love other parts; some people will love what others hate. If you can put up with all these things, especially the inevitable flops, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that something is happening in your writing and that you are on your way to more than mere non-offensiveness.

Each writer, like each speaker, has a resonance. Find your resonance. Do free-writing exercises.
Back to top
pen'npaper
Poster Want-2-B


Joined: 19 Apr 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thankyou Sernbr.
Quote:
What's is meant by the writer's voice? How do I develop it?


What is is meant by the writers voice.

the bottom line
Quote:

Each writer, like each speaker, has a resonance. Find your resonance. Do free-writing exercises


..it makes me want to go buy the book

love the word resonance..; 3 beats, my mantra for the day:)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    - The Writers Voice - Forum Index -> The Art and Craft of Writing All times are GMT - 7 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
The Writers Voice Forum
 
 
 


All Authors (hi-speed)    All Authors (dialup)    Children    Columnists    Contact    Drama    Fiction    Grammar    Guest Book    Home    Humour    Links    Narratives    Novels    Poems    Published Authors    Reviews    September 11    Short Stories    Teen Writings    Submission Guidelines




Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group