“I want to hear you, not your voice”
—Iris Warren, Voice Teacher.
The sound of colloquial voice:
“When colloquial language unites with literary language, a third language often emerges—an alchemical blend of your natural speaking voice, and a more polished language capable of arousing the imagination of the reader. The more you write, the more this language occurs naturally, and the more your speaking and writing styles may begin to converge.”
Writing in the pressure cooker:
“Improvisation is an inescapable reality of fiction. That wonderful, scary freefall into improvisation through freewrites and spontaneous jottings is where voice begins. Once you’ve got something on the page, you move into a second-order improvisation: you start improvising with the found objects your voice has offered. Whatever they are, to move your voice into a story, you have to make a commitment to working with certain found elements.”
Craft and the voice of the story:
“As you learn to weave back and forth between loss of control and more conscious manipulation of voice, your raw voice will change, broaden its range. Skills of craft become so automatic you do them without thinking.
A surprise also occurs: The more skilled you become at writing a story, the more voice has a way of disappearing.”
Catalysts for the story:
“When thinking about what energizes your voice, it’s often useful to categorize novels and stories in the following ways: character-driven, plot-driven, and vision-driven. What catalyzes your voice is often what drives your story.”
Point of view:
“Point of view is a primary vehicle for voice. Like voice itself, point of view is usually instinctive.
For all its spontaneity, then, point of view has everything to do with intention. It’s a choice that lets you tell the story you want to tell.”
Secrets as a key to character:
“One of the best ways to discover what characters speak only to themselves is to ask them to tell you their secrets.
Listen to your character with interest and detachment. Watch her for a while, as she moves about her life.”