Christopher Moore Home Page

The bulletin board is currently closed to new posts. Instead, why not check out Chris' Twitter and Facebook pages?


bbs.chrismoore.com Forum Index -> So You Wanna Be a Writer?

HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE VOICE

  Author    Thread This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics. This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.
TATATA



Joined: 01 Jun 2008
Posts: 164
Location: anywhere but here
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE VOICE  Reply with quote  

I know it is an important part of writing and capturing the reader, but I am not completely clear on what exactly it is.

And in the arena of craft, how important is it on the whole?
_________________
It's not the men in my life; it's the life in my men.

Mae West

Post Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:10 pm   View user's profile Send private message
chris
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 3833
Location: People Republic of Northern California
 Reply with quote  

Voice is sort of the author's presence -- the combination of style, point of view, and tone. It's easier to point to stories with strong or weak voice, than to try to define it. For instance, if you read most books by John Grisham, you'll detect almost no voice. Ditto Michael Crighton. Thriller writers seldom write with a strong voice. They stay in the background and let the action carry the story.

On the other hand, humor writers will write with a much stronger voice because humor often requires comment by the author on the action in the book.

Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Steinbeck all wrote with a very strong voices. You're aware that the author is there, telling you a story.

You'll hear writer's talk about finding their voice. They're talking about who they are on the page. You can't just construct a voice -- or I don't think you can. You have to sort of try on different attitudes. I think imitation is a good way to go about learning about voice. For instance, write a story that sounds like an Edgar Allan Poe story. Then one like a Kurt Vonnegut story. Then a Hemingway story. Along the way, you'll learn about voice, and eventually you develop your own.

Post Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:52 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
TATATA



Joined: 01 Jun 2008
Posts: 164
Location: anywhere but here
 Reply with quote  

I only ask because I turned in the first 15 pages of the novel I am writing (I have no writing experience whatsoever) and for the first time, people read my writing. I was told my voice really came through.

Without consciously knowing I put it in there. Is it something that comes naturally to some?

I thought it might pertain to the reader being able to read the content with the emotion that was intended.
_________________
It's not the men in my life; it's the life in my men.

Mae West

Post Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:23 pm   View user's profile Send private message
TATATA



Joined: 01 Jun 2008
Posts: 164
Location: anywhere but here
 Reply with quote  

OH and by the way,

Thank you so much for the answer, I feel honored Very Happy
_________________
It's not the men in my life; it's the life in my men.

Mae West

Post Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:30 pm   View user's profile Send private message
Poofiemus



Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 91
Location: Education Camp--I mean, college.
 Reply with quote  

Chris, I wish I could mass-mail that post to every English teacher in the country. It's the only description of voice I've ever seen that actually makes perfect sense.

"The author's attitude towards the work" indeed. What a stupid definition they made us use. . .

Oh, and Tatata, my guess is that if people are saying that your story has voice, you're probably doing something right. Smile Now the trick's to stick with it. (I've been afraid to reread any of my stuff because I know my voice in them probably comes off as schizophrenic. Staying with one voice really is tough.)
_________________

Post Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:13 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
  Display posts from previous:      
This forum is locked: you cannot post, reply to, or edit topics. This topic is locked: you cannot edit posts or make replies.

Jump to:  


Last Thread | Next Thread  >

Forum Rules:
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

 
Templates created by Vereor and Ken