Home Forums General Writing Discussions Style & Voice

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Dragon Snapper 3 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #35352

    DelightInLife
    @delightinlife
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    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

    DelightInLife
    @delightinlife
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    @kate-flournoy

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

    #35355

    Daeus
    @daeus
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    @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

    DelightInLife
    @delightinlife
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    @daeus

    Thank you!

    #35405

    Ethryndal
    @ethryndal
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    @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

    Kate Flournoy
    @kate-flournoy
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    @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

    Kate Flournoy
    @kate-flournoy
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    Great points, @ethryndal.

    #35457

    Mark Kamibaya
    @mark-kamibaya
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    @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

    DelightInLife
    @delightinlife
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    @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

    Daeus
    @daeus
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    @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

    Kate Flournoy
    @kate-flournoy
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    @delightinlife what @daeus said. 😀

    #35610

    Northerner
    @northerner
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    @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

    Dragon Snapper
    @dragon-snapper
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    Well…looks like these guys have it covered so… *quickly bookmarks page for future reference.*

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