We often hear about a writer's voice, but what does it really mean?
A WRITER'S VOICE IS GENERALLY DEFINED AS THE STYLE AND TONE THAT'S CONSISTENT THROUGHOUT A WORK
However, a recent article by Austin Kleon got me thinking about how voice might not be as simple as that.
Kleon talks about how we all have three voices: our thinking voice, our speaking voice, and our writing voice. These three voices may not always be saying the same things. In fact, they frequently are in what Kleon calls, "a weird dance with each other".
Since reading the article, I've been paying attention to those voices. Here's what I've discovered:
- My thinking voice is fast! I regularly meditate to slow it down and am shocked at how many layers of differing thoughts run simultaneously in my head.
- My writing voice, on the other hand, is much more methodical and deliberate, but it often veers toward verbosity. My writing improves when I allow my speed-loving thinking voice to edit.
- My speaking voice always feels like it's trying to keep up with my thinking voice. But, when I talk through a story to myself out loud, something magical happens. Suddenly, my speaking voice gets my thinking voice and writing voice to synchronize. Some of what I consider my best work comes from all three voices dancing together.
Perhaps the key to having a strong voice as a writer is to employ all three voices.
Pay attention to the three distinct voices in your head this week and notice how different they all are. Do any work together better than the other? What happens when you employ all three, talking through your story aloud?
Better yet, read and/or act (why not get your physical voice into the mix too?) it out! What do you notice?
Share your discoveries in the comments!
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