Most recent book-about-writing purchase, Finding Your Writer’s Voice by Thaisa Frank and Dorothy Wall, is the topic of today’s TIL – well, the first few chapters, anyway!
“Voice is nothing fancy. It’s simply the way you, the writer, project yourself artistically.”
Chapter 1 – Telling Begins in an Atmosphere of Urgency
Is that a lovely title? 🙂 Imagine the way strangers exchange stories in heightened atmospheres, situations that allow for excitement and privacy – no back story, no extraneous details, no convolution. Readers are strangers: tell them what’s important and compelling.
The writer must create this ‘unusual circumstance’ atmosphere for themselves – “When you write you have to take a leap and live in an atmosphere of urgency. Urgency that creates instant communication. Urgency that allows for excitement.” Avoid writing from a sense of obligation.
Chapter 2 – Voice: Your Most Powerful Tool
“Your voice is how you write when you don’t have time to be elegant.”
Your voice isn’t static, it will change with the audience, the story, the circumstances. But voices are as individual as fingerprints.
‘Discovering’ your voice is hard, partly because it’s so familiar. But take time to examine the familiar. Look for words to describe the things that are mundane to you.Keep note of phrases and images that just occur to you, especially as you’re falling asleep – the things you might dismiss can hold emotional concepts. There are ideas and inspiration in the things you take for granted.
Chapter 3 – The Writer as a Singer
Opera singers (and babies!) use their whole bodies when they sing. This short chapter recommends trying singing as a writing tool. What kind of singer – jazz, blues, rock? – are you? Sing some of your writing – what kind of music is it? Try singing someone else’s writing. Throw your whole body into it. Shake it out, loosen up.