Thursday, February 16, 2006

Voicing the Voice

One of my students has been grappling with her writerly voice. She doesn't hear a voice in her head when she writes. What is voice?, she asked in class. We discussed this--some people actually hear a voice in their heads. Some writers have distinct voices, like Hemingway--always--and Kaye Gibbons in Ellen Foster. Voice can be elusive, hard to pinpoint, similar to tone. The best advice I can offer for finding your voice is to write, a lot. Free write for ten minutes a day and just let the words flow. Try not to censor or audition words as you go along. I invite you to respond to this blog with a freewrite. Let the first words that come to mind come out. Ready Set. Go!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh but Carol I do hear a voice, I just didn't realize that that voice in my head was the voice (see bold here). I didn't realize that until we had our class discussion, and then it went off like a lightbulb (didn't you see it?) After that I was plaagued with the anguish of thinking "after all these years, couldn't somebody have just told me??? There have been times when I've thought of inventing a machine that could tape that voice or better yet a machine that automatically put that voice to paper---my writing would be so witty and authentic and I could avoid the inevitable carpel tunnel. I've always thought "I just can't type fast enough to capture that voice, but aren't I brillant anyway? Too bad nobody knows it." Oye vey. Anyway, I just finished two books by Kaye Gibbons "Charms for the Easy Life", and "Divining Women." Both delightful but I perferred the former. Well--I've got to get back to my piece for class, it's become quite unwieldy.