A gentle primer on how to improve the voice in your writing.
<ul><li>Want to spice up your writing?! </li></ul><ul><li>Want to make your next essay not feel boring to you?! </li></ul><ul><li>Want to feel like a multiple personality disorder?! </li></ul><ul><li>Then learn to use VOICE in your writing! </li></ul>
<ul><li>Voice in writing refers to how the written words “sound” when read. </li></ul><ul><li>If you were to read a passage aloud and give it “feeling,” how would it sound? That’s the idea, really. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Voice is created through tone, diction, and sentence structure. </li></ul><ul><li>Tone is an abstract feeling from a writing (it’s friendly! It’s mean!). </li></ul><ul><li>Diction refers to the words used. </li></ul><ul><li>Sentence structure refers to the length of the sentence, the arrangements of words, and any emphasis placed on words. </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ Mommy, mommy! I wanna go to the potty! Pleeeeease?! I wanna!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Yo, niggz. Where you at?!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I LIKE SOUP!” </li></ul>
<ul><li>The first example is obviously that of a child who wants to use the toilet. You can almost hear that whining right next to you, and feel that desire to slap someone. </li></ul><ul><li>The second example is obviously that of a stereotypical “gangsta.” Can’t you feel that air of danger, and imagine that gun pointed at your head as he looks away to talk into his phone like it’s a walkie-talkie? </li></ul><ul><li>The third example is simply someone who is hyperactive. No real structure involved, all capital letters: they’re obviously excited for their soup. </li></ul>
<ul><li>There aren’t a lot of ways to fix a voice, besides practice and trial & error. If a voice does not sound quite right for what is to be delivered, try experimenting with different words in order to deliver the right feeling. </li></ul><ul><li>A good way to see if a voice is coming out right, is to speak what you are about to write the way you would want it to be heard for it’s purpose. Then, once you’ve gotten the actual hearing down, write the words you’ve spoken with the correct tone and emphasis you need, and you should have the right voice. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Do the activity provided. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t quite achieve voice right away: voice requires practice and time to create effectively, especially if you’ve never even attempted it before. </li></ul>
<ul><li>You really should not be hearing other voices in your head. If you’re hearing voices in your head, or have a multiple personality disorder that is causing you many problems and making you wake up next to strangers in a different town, you may wish to seek a psychologist. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Our professor, who gave me the free reign to create this combination of mediums for your benefit. </li></ul><ul><li>Susan J. Letham, the british writer who gave me an easier way to explain what Voice is (my explanation was, like, three times longer..). </li></ul>
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