OK, enough about me and my journey. Time to get back to what I love to write about. I love sharing my discoveries about writing with my readers.
I am excited because I just read an article in the September 2013 issue of Writer’s Digest that has been particularly insightful for me on the subject of voice. I hope it will help you as well.
The article is an excerpt from the book, Creative Nonfiction (1996), by Gerard Philip. In it Philip quotes Bob Reiss as saying our writing will sink or swim, based on our voice–a sobering thought.
So, as writers, you can see it is critical that we understand what is meant by voice.
According to Philip, voice is the cumulative effect of the following:
An excerpt from Steven Harper’s book, Writing the Paranormal Novel (2011), printed in the March/April 2012 issue of Writer’s Digest, adds that voice is also about:
Philip says, “Voice is what the reader hears in his mind’s ear, the strong sense that the words of the story are coming from another living, human personality with a unique perspective on events.”
I agree with Philip that you can’t fabricate or “overlay” voice on your work–“It is intrinsic in everything you do from the moment an idea occurs to you until you turn in the finished draft.”
You bring your unique perspective and attitude to the story. Philip quotes Bob Reiss as saying voice is, “You’re kind of sensitivity. You’re kind of anger. You’re kind of whatever the dominant thing is in you.”
In other words, it is everything that is you. Everything that distinguishes you from another person.
interesting ideas 🙂
i think our voice is also in the vernacular that we use and how we use punctuation etc 🙂
for instance, i prefer to refer to myself as ‘i’ rather than ‘I’ and am sure it changes the perception of those who read my work 🙂
Yes, voice is everything we put into our writing, things we are aware of and those we are not. I’m just wondering why you write “i”? That’s an interesting thing to do. Of course, if we all did it, it wouldn’t be unique, would it? But your reasons for doing what you do remain uniquely you.
it feels more humble i think 🙂
Interesting. Maybe i should give it a try! =) i’m surprised it does feel different, more humble. Never would have thought it. Thanks for sharing!
always a pleasure 🙂
capital letters are so imposing 🙂
“Voice is what the reader hears in his mind’s ear, the strong sense that the words of the story are coming from another living, human personality with a unique perspective on events.” That’s the best definition I’ve come across – thank you!
Yes, that really stood out for me too!