A Writer’s Voice

Traditional music at a festival at Shigatse, Tibet by iancowe--2251723613_b11e93de4bHearing the words you’ve written and read in your own voice develops voice. It also awakens you, the writer, to your style of putting words together.

You hear when your words fall away from that established cadence and rhythm, and when they come together. You come to see the endless possibilities of music your words can and in so doing are made able to recognize when due to awkward phrasing the sounds clash from dissonance.

Reading your words also makes plain the simply mistakes such as typos, incorrect use of words and clichés that leave your writing dull and flat.

Reading your own words is empowering. It is also humbling. If you have not taken the time to craft engaging sentences, weave an interesting plot, develop authentic characters, all becomes apparent when your voice emerges carrying the words you have written upon your tongue.

Readers who do not like to read their own words are like authors who hate giving public readings. I know very few good authors who do not relish the process of reading their stories to others held in rapt suspension awaiting the next word.

Readers endear us with their trust by cracking open our books. The least we can do is read aloud what we have written. You need not read in front of anyone. Withdrawing to a solitary space with only ourselves as listener, and reading aloud the words we have penned or typed provides a most wonderful experience for realizing the gift with which we have been endowed.

What story do you like reading aloud, or having another read to you?

Why do you like hearing the words of this story read aloud?

Have you ever read aloud any of your stories? How was the experience?


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4 Responses to “A Writer’s Voice”

  1. LaTessa Says:
    September 27th, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Right now, the only stories I read aloud are to my children. I must admit, I and not that fond of hearing my own voice, so I don’t really like reading outloud. But, it is fun reading Dr. Seuss aloud, he has some good tongue twisters going on and the kids get a kick out of it.

    From a craft development standpoint, I do recognize the benefit of reading my dialogue out loud. This one is the best way for me to determine if what I’ve written sounds natural and authentic to the character speaking it. But that’s about as far as I’m willing to take it.

    My crit partner, on the other hand, will record herself reading her manuscript and play it back to help her with her edits and polishing. It really seems to be working, but I can’t make myself do it right now.
    .-= LaTessa´s last blog ..African American Romance, Your Thoughts?? =-.

  2. Anjuelle Floyd Says:
    September 27th, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Becoming comfortable hearing our own voice can be a challenge. Our inability to do that raises a plot point of crisis in our own lives.
    One of the most important aspects of my MFA program in Creative Writing that I underwent was the student readings that were held during each of the residencies that took place prior to the start of our 4 semesters. There were limited spots and everyone scrambled to sign up, particularly 3rd and 4th semester students.
    Earning your MFA required that you not only produce a creative thesis of your work, but also that you give a reading. This took place the weekend of graduation. Those of us yet to graduate always attended. I think this was our way of getting ourselves prepared to do our own reading.
    I also learned that the head of our department noted what students, particularly 2nd and 3rd semester students participated in the readings.

    In short reading our own work is critical to developing voice and confidence in what we have to say. If we cannot tolerate hearing what we have to say, then we must begin to ask ourselves what is it that we don’t like or that disturbs us. Are we afraid of our own creative power? What do we think will happen if we speak–that the world will come tumbling down? Better yet, what will change for the greater good should we share our ideas?
    My sense is that you are afraid of some type of change that will take place in you should you hear your words as read by you.

    I participated in a reading my first semester in the program. Part of it was that I was egged on by upper class men who wanted to see if I could write.
    I was determined to prove that I deserved to be there.
    But that was really moot. I had been accepted.
    I was really trying to prove something to myself.

    Think of it this way.
    You’ve got to learn to read the words you’ve written.
    You’ll disappoint your fans and readers if you don’t.

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience of this challenge that we’ve all faced.

  3. LaTessa Says:
    September 28th, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    Thanks for that Anjuelle. I will let that marinate in my spirit. I know you what you’re saying is correct, I just need to make myself do it, and that’s going to take some prayer to make me stop being stubborn about it. LOL
    .-= LaTessa´s last blog ..African American Romance, Your Thoughts?? =-.

  4. Anjuelle Floyd Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Prayer is always a good place to start.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

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