Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Voice is the personality your prose transmits to the reader; it encapsulates and flavors your attitude to the subject, the characters you cast in your stories, and the types and intensity of the situations you are portraying.

Without this inherent attitude, your prose could not hope to carry an effect beyond the simple meaning of the particular words in particular sentences.   Look. Look. Look.  See Dick.  See Jane.  See Dick and Jane run and split infinitives.  With such nuance as cynicism, skepticism, doubt, and mockery enter the stage wearing their dancing shoes, lifting their tropes as though they were ballerinas.

Voice determines your choice of characters, situations, and outcome, allowing the possibility to explore the parallels you encounter in two or more seemingly divergent points of view, noting with exquisite precision and irony the point at which their agendas part company.

In general, it you were to take on high-mindedness, you would chose individuals from professions, positions of entitlement, or intellectuals.  By degree and design, you would challenge such individuals with problems bearing some moral consequence that would break, tempt, or bewilder them, relying on the subtext to somehow issue a true bill of indictment against them.  The result would be your disclosure, commensurate with the thrust of your voice; it would be your dramatic exposure of "them."

Each of this triad--character, situation, and outcome--are in effect armatures about which you wrap the details of their doing, mindful as you wrap that their doing may also be their undoing.  And quite possibly your own.  What better way to change your mind or position or taste than to write your way into it or out of it?


Sarah said...

I always learn something new about voice when you write about it. It seems the most elusive yet essential component of writing, and no topic fascinates me more.

Storm Dweller said...

Without our voices, it seems, that even in our present we would wink out of existence in history. Forgotten because we were unable to impart to the world our story.

Unknown said...

I'd like to become a student of your blog (easy enough), but also to ask questions, participate in POSTS and COMMENTS. I don't know what to do with the options of the pull-down menus under those two icons, i.e. how to sign up.


Unknown said...

Some said there was a poker-playing writers group in SB. Any word on that? right up my alley.