Monday, July 11, 2011

Aspects of *Voice*

I read this post on the weekend and it has me thinking about what aspects make up my writing *voice*.

Why did that particular post make me think of voice? Because that post perfectly describes me... both good and bad (except for the unsolicited advice thing... I don't do that).

Under the negative traits section, this is the sentence that got me thinking of voice:

Honest people can lack the social skills to judge when complete honesty is not wanted or needed.

In social situations, I suck at small talk... comments about the weather, asking about jobs, kids, talking about current events, movies, tv shows and all that kind of stuff. I tend to skip over the PC gloss topics and throw myself right into the gritty *real* conversations... like someone I first met who has an Aboriginal heritage, I launched into questions of identity, the conflict of trying to save/preserve his original culture vs modern society and the deep-set corruption within the prevailing leadership.

...and about 30 minutes into this conversation (35 minutes after we had exchanged names),  he stopped mid-sentence, blushed and said he was uncomfortable talking about this to someone he'd just met... although, by that time, I was mostly just listening as he talked.

So yeah, I do this. And I know it's not the best way to give a good first impression.

So how does this relate to my writing voice?

In whatever I write, dialogue is relatively scarce. When characters do speak, they only talk about things that *have* to be talked about. The important and necessary things. What may seem like small talk is never actually small talk. When it is there, dialogue is loaded with meaning, sometimes two or three different meanings which would only become obvious on a second reading.

So that's one of the things I can think of that defines my individual writer's voice. What about you? Have you analyzed your own personality/habits/quirks to see which of those influences your writing?


  1. I wandered over from the link you left on my SSS, and this post intrigued me. I don't think I ever have looked at why my writing voice is the way it is. I've been too busy trying to figure out what it is and how best to use it.

    I tend to be verbose. Being concise is a real struggle for me. That goes for dialogue, action and exposition.

    I tend to seek out perfect words rather than use imperfect ones. I get annoyed when I *knew* the perfect word without seeking it out and no one else knows it or understand why it's perfect.

    Only when I have the perfect word can I delete the imperfect ones, which helps fix the verbosity.

    Y'know, I think I may be a closet perfectionist. Weird.

  2. Hahaha... I also have an unhealthy obsession with *the right word*, due to feeling like a moron my entire life (dyslexia sucks).

    I suppose I think equally about the correct/exact meaning of the word, but also the feel/taste/sound of the word. Both of those aspects have to be there for me to feel it's the *right* word.

    ...and I think that's probably another aspect of my writing voice... because even if the word is *correct*, if it doesn't sound beautiful and roll easily off the tongue, it's still not the *right* word.

    Does that make sense?


Type me out a line of Shakespeare or a line of nonsense. Dumb-blonde-jokes & Irish jokes will make me laugh myself silly :)