A kind reviewer, via Goodreads, mentioned that she liked my 'writing style' and this prompted me to blog a post concerning 'The Voice' of an author. Further down, I've provided links to websites with more information. Enjoy. :o)
In fiction writing, the style must represent the author's personal expression of these events that comprise the plot; setting the mood, and leading the reader to a subjective, non-literal, emotional understanding of the subject.
How a writer chooses words and structures sentences to achieve a certain effect is also an element of style. When Thomas Paine wrote “These are the times that try men’s souls,” he arranged his words to convey a sense of urgency and desperation. Had he written “These are bad times,” it’s likely he wouldn’t have made such an impact!
Style is usually considered to be the province of literary writers. Novelists such as Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner and poets such as Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman are well known for their distinctive literary styles.
Elements of styleMany elements of writing contribute to an author’s style, but three of the most important are word choice, sentence fluency, and voice.
Good writers are concise and precise, weeding out unnecessary words and choosing the exact word to convey meaning. Precise words — active verbs, concrete nouns, specific adjectives — help the reader visualize the sentence. Good writers use adjectives sparingly and adverbs rarely, letting their nouns and verbs do the work.
Good writers also choose words that contribute to the flow of a sentence. Polysyllabic words, alliteration, and consonance can be used to create sentences that roll off the tongue. Onomatopoeia and short, staccato words can be used to break up the rhythm of a sentence.
Sentence fluency is the flow and rhythm of phrases and sentences. Good writers use a variety of sentences with different lengths and rhythms to achieve different effects. They use parallel structures within sentences and paragraphs to reflect parallel ideas, but also know how to avoid monotony by varying their sentence structures.
Good writers also arrange their ideas within a sentence for greatest effect. They avoid loose sentences, deleting extraneous words and rearranging their ideas for effect. Many students initially write with a looser oral style, adding words on to the end of a sentence in the order they come to mind. This rambling style is often described as a “word dump” where everything in a student’s mind is dumped onto the paper in no particular order. There is nothing wrong with a word dump as a starting point: the advantage of writing over speaking is that writers can return to their words, rethink them, and revise them for effect. Tighter, more readable style results when writers choose their words carefully, delete redundancies, make vague words more specific, and use subordinate clauses and phrases to rearrange their ideas for the greatest effect.
Because voice is difficult to measure reliably, it is often left out of scoring formulas for writing tests. Yet voice is an essential element of style that reveals the writer’s personality. A writer’s voice can be impersonal or chatty, authoritative or reflective, objective or passionate, serious or funny.
Tone vs. VoiceAnything you write should still have your voice: something that makes your writing sound uniquely like you. A personal conversation with a friend differs from a speech given to a large group of strangers. Just as you speak to different people in different ways yet remain yourself, so the tone of your writing can vary with the situation while the voice -- the essential, individual thoughts and expression -- is still your own.
1. A Simple Exercise to Find Your Writing Style ~ HERE
2. What’s Your Creative Writing Style? Tips for Developing Your Voice ~ HERE
It can take years for a writer to develop a stylistic voice. Some writers have a natural voice. Others work at crafting a unique voice with a particular tone or attitude. And plenty of writers don’t think about voice at all. But voice is a key element of writing since it represents you as a writer and can help readers connect with your work. For example, some readers will be turned off by a sarcastic tone whereas others may be drawn to it.
Creative Writing ~ HERE
I don't think about 'voice' when writing, but I am aware of tone. In general, I feel reality, day-to-day tasks require a different form (tone) of self and I usually need to get into that 'writing-mode' before I put any words down. If I didn't do this the 'tone' would be different. Does that make sense?
I block out the world and create a mental sphere (bubble) where I draw in and keep a flow of inspiration/creativity around me. Initially, I do this with images and music (headphones on). Depending on the day, it can take minutes or hours to find that balance, but once found the word count moves up. Yay! :o)
What works for you?
Are you aware of 'Voice' or 'Tone'?
In My Bubble by Love-and-Blades
Love and light,