Style & Voice

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Dragon Snapper Dragon Snapper 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #35352
    Profile photo of DelightInLife
    DelightInLife
    Participant

    Hello!

    What does the term having a “voice” as a writer mean? How is that different than style?

    (I’m going to tag a few people, but feel free to jump in even if you weren’t tagged.:) )

    @daeus @aratrea @kate-flornoy @winter-rose @ethryndal @dragon-snapper

    #35353
    Profile photo of DelightInLife
    DelightInLife
    Participant

    @kate-flournoy

    I apologize, Kate, for getting your tag wrong. 🙂

    #35355
    Profile photo of Daeus
    Daeus
    Moderator

    @delightinlife The first question is easier to answer than the second.

    Voice is basically the “tone” you write in. It’s the types of details you include or don’t include, how many of them you include, how much you show or tell, what type of characters you write about, whether you lean towards sarcasm, cuteness, or morbidity, and many other little things like these. Voice is how I could pick up a random book of the shelf without looking at its cover, read one chapter, and tell you it was written by Dickens.

    When people say you need to develop your voice, they basically just mean you need to learn to write well. When people say you need to develop your own voice, they mean you need to write your personality into a story. If you imitate Dickens, you may write well, but you won’t be writing your best work because it won’t be coming from you.

    As far as how voice and style differ, my most straight forward answer is that I don’t know. I do, however, think that they are probably 98% the same. The only difference I could see is that voice is the impression people get from the techniques you use whereas style is the actual techniques themselves.

    #35356
    Profile photo of DelightInLife
    DelightInLife
    Participant

    @daeus

    Thank you!

    #35405
    Profile photo of Ethryndal
    Ethryndal
    Participant

    @delightinlife I think Style is just a broader sense of Voice. Voice is the personality behind the writing, and Style is the form used to broadcast that personality. Styles are like simplistic, or dark, or poetic, and within those styles, the writer has their voice, which makes the broad style more personal.

    #35406
    Profile photo of Kate Flournoy
    Kate Flournoy
    Participant

    @DelightinLife everything @Daeus said. 😛

    I will add that you probably shouldn’t worry too much about developing your own voice, because it will develop by itself as you grow in confidence and knowledge. Especially if you focus in on the more nitty gritty aspects of writing, like the prose itself— what makes prose delightful and engaging; what makes it re-readable, etc. The polish of the style/voice is primarily contained in the prose.

    And hey, that’s totally fine about my tag. Most people call us the ‘Flerneys’, so you’re not alone. 😀

    #35407
    Profile photo of Kate Flournoy
    Kate Flournoy
    Participant

    Great points, @Ethryndal.

    #35457
    Profile photo of Mark Kamibaya
    Mark Kamibaya
    Participant

    @delightinlife

    I second what @kate-flournoy and @daeus said. And, yeah, don’t worry too much about developing voice. I also really like what @ethryndal said: “Voice is the personality behind the writing, and Style is the form used to broadcast that personality.”

    With that said, I think the difference between voice and style is that you can change style, but not voice. Voice is your personality. You can’t really change it just like that. On the other hand, it’s possible to change styles.

    This is just what I see in various works of film and story. Every storyteller writes in a certain way, but they sometimes adopt different styles depending on the story and medium.

    #35599
    Profile photo of DelightInLife
    DelightInLife
    Participant

    @daeus Thank you! The way you explained voice really made a lot of sense!

    @ethryndal Thank you!

    @kate-flournoy Thank you. What actually sparked the question was that I randomly thought of something my English teacher had said on our requirements for when we were writing our Short Stories last month and I was curious to see what you all would say. (For some reason I’m wanting to type y’all instead of you all, but I’m from Northern Washington State and not the South 🙂 ) What exactly is prose?

    @mark-kamibaya Thank you!

    #35600
    Profile photo of Daeus
    Daeus
    Moderator

    @delightinlife Prose is writing on the sentence level. It’s how you phrase things. It’s things like showing instead of telling, how you write dialogue, whether you write flowery sentences or short punch sentences. This is opposed to things like story structure character back story which are broad picture writing principles.

    #35606
    Profile photo of Kate Flournoy
    Kate Flournoy
    Participant

    @DelightinLife what @Daeus said. 😀

    #35610
    Profile photo of Northerner
    Northerner
    Participant

    @DelightinLife, prose is also, at its simplest, whatever is not poetry. Except prose can be poetic (for the record, there is no such thing as a ‘prose poem’), so as with many simple things, it’s not easy. So essays, stories, novels, lots of plays, letters, if they’re the kind of thing that uses paragraphs, they’re prose.

    #35648
    Profile photo of Dragon Snapper
    Dragon Snapper
    Participant

    Well…looks like these guys have it covered so… *quickly bookmarks page for future reference.*

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