Category Archives: Style and voice

Characteristics of voice and learning to create a unique voice

Did You Really Mean What You Said?

Dialogue in writing differs from real conversations. Fictional characters rarely ramble on for pages, circumventing what they really want to say with phrases that sound good but have hard to pinpoint meanings. Most of the uh’s, um’s and pauses in … Continue reading

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Adventures in Forbidden POVs

Currently I am reading a novella by Virginia Woolf called To the Lighthouse. It intrigues me because it broaches the problem of flat female characters found in many early twentieth century novels. Woolf reveals what’s going on in their heads. … Continue reading

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Distorted POVs

It amuses me when people ask which point of view is best. But, I probably chuckled more when a new writer asked if it was okay to describe what a character was thinking when writing in the third-person POV.   “Can’t … Continue reading

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In My Head

As a child I made up stories in my head, mostly about people’s pets. The majority of them were entirely descriptions such as fur color, number of spots, eye color and size. When I bemoaned the fact that these just … Continue reading

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Buying into a Binary

Writing which shows is almost always touted as superior to writing that tells. Examples of this are filled with intriguing dialog, exciting actions accompanied by descriptive detail filled with aromas, colors, and noises. On the other hand, telling explains who … Continue reading

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The Lead-footed Writer

In movies when an event is crucial to survival (such as disarming a bomb) the clock keeps ticking away on until the last minute as the hero tries to figure out which wire to cut. He wipes the sweat off … Continue reading

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Keeping the Unknown a Mystery

I was engrossed in a mystery that grabbed me from the beginning. Set in the mid nineteenth century it commenced with a spooky chase scene in the fog. The shadow-like suspect disappeared around the corner of a stately brownstone. Then, … Continue reading

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Breaking the speed limit

A thrilling fast-paced first chapter that pulls the reader into the story does not have the power to create tension for the entire story. A dramatic, edge-of-the-seat beginning might even decrease the tension. After the first thrill is over, the … Continue reading

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Writing Imagery

What is the difference between describing details and creating imagery? Perhaps I should ask what is the difference in describing details that are exquisite and those full of boring minutia. The concept is difficult to explain because it does depend … Continue reading

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Nothing New under the Sun

There have been authors for many millennia and the tools that they use have changed—from painting on stones, to drawing on animal skin, to writing with ink on paper, to using block prints and printing presses and we have electronic … Continue reading

Posted in Creativity, Literary devices, Literature, Story structure, Style and voice, Teaching writing skills, Trends in books, Writer's resource | Tagged , , | 1 Comment