Category Archives: Style and voice

Characteristics of voice and learning to create a unique voice

Playing musical words

One of the quickest ways to make your writing voice stand out from the crowd is to master the use of literary devices. Some devices are just fancy names for specific types of diction and syntax. For example, anastrophe is … Continue reading

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Deciding on a direction

“Say what you are going to say, say it, and finally say what you have said.” I don’t know how many times I’ve heard this rule for organizing the written word repeated in the educational realm. But rules are meant … Continue reading

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The speed signs for writing

The way we string together words and the type of words we use contribute to the “pace” of writing. Longer sentences with a plethora of subordinated clauses provide an intellectual sound to the writing. The reader must take more time to … Continue reading

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Order matters how?

While diction determines word choice, syntax determines where the words are placed. Language without syntax are words strung together with no method to the madness–in other words, nonsense. Our normal syntax mimics what we have heard before. Unique syntax requires mixing … Continue reading

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Tone of voice

Tone of voice… you have probably heard this phrase used frequently, such as in “I don’t like your tone of voice.” As a child I often assumed that phrase was the adults’ way of reprimanding someone whose statement was not … Continue reading

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Write or wrong word

Diction is one of the building blocks of voice that pushed far enough can become a two-edged sword, making the written word dangerously inaccessible to readers. When teaching Shakespeare’s plays to students I frequently pointed out that it was not … Continue reading

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Voice, deconstructed

Voice in writing can be best defined by breaking it down into its components. But the problem remains that voice is comprised of different things, depending on who you ask. According to the Texas TAKS writing rubric, voice is demonstrated … Continue reading

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The writer’s voice

When people speak they produce many different signals that the audience can interpret: facial expressions, gestures, and timbre of voice can add to the meaning of the words, or reverse them. For example, a person saying “Good job!” in a … Continue reading

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