Writing About Writing Vol 4


“Voice”

As I learned – or, more accurately, willed myself – to write, I used to hear/read things about “voice” in writing.
As I look back over my old writing, I think I understand more clearly what was meant by "voice."

[Phlip note: I HATE some of my old work]

What I have observed over the past year or so, though, I have watched my work evolve.  What started as a 150-300 word blurb on my FaceBook wall has grown to an every-Thursday event that both of you VERY much look forward to.
The growth has come with some evolution in my presentation and not just with the addition of a leading picture to each of the posts.  I had to learn to structure them physically to help each reader make their own adventure of it.

What does that even mean?
It means that I use indentation to start certain paragraphs, and not in others.  The indentation is to begin a new though, the lack of it means I have not finished that last idea yet but need the separation that simply putting a period wouldn’t properly provide.  Look to the last previous paragraph for an example.
It means that back-and-forth dialog is always to be centered and everything contained in the quotations are italicized.
it means I insert little notes into the posts with my “thoughts” in braces like above or mid-sentence in parenthesis.

I do that, ALL of that, to allow the reader to quickly differentiate what is happening in the midst of 8-1500 words every week without losing interest.  I expect that everyone reads these stories and hears a different voice and sees a different location in their heads while they’re reading.
To me, that is the “voice” of my post.  How you read it is as important to the reception of what you read as is what you’re actually reading.  Example: how many of us LOVE at least one movie that we KNOW is horrible?


As with anything in the “Writing about Writing” series, I am not here to tell anyone what to do but instead offering up a bit of discussion that I wish I had gotten a long time ago.  A mindshare, an application of best practices if you will.  I can only hope that these are as helpful to those looking to scribe some things out for themselves as the writings that these applications have spawned down through time and especially the last.
Knowing what it took to get me where I am and how it is taking me where I am headed next should be helpful to anyone else going through it.  It is assuredly not to stand up here and say "do as I do," but more to steer you toward finding what works for you.  I want to see everyone doing well, even if that means there will be some people doing better than me.
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