Sunday, April 16, 2017

Importance Of Voice In Fiction

Voice is an important for YA fiction and fiction in general. It brings writing to life by making it feel like a person is actually telling a story. I’ve recently discovered my writing voice. It’s a quirky conversational voice. But I’m glad I’ve found my writing voice because interiority (thoughts/feelings of the character) makes the character feel fleshed out. A piece of writing can have great imagery, setting, and dialogue. Yet only using those three things emulates a journalistic feel. Voice therefore provides a balance between imagery, dialogue, setting, and exposition.
One way to achieve voice is to use both long and short sentences. A sentence can be one word or a couple of lines. Having varying sentence length creates voice by making a rhythm.
Including repetition can sometimes help. A character might use certain words or phrases a lot. For example, a character can think, “yeah” a lot. Yeah might be a simplistic. However, it goes back to style in the last paragraph because it can be used as a one word sentence.
Emotion is another way to create voice. But not only in terms of basic interiority. Sure. People feel different emotions at different times. Although people usually feel one emotion a lot. Sarcasm is the easiest emotion tool for voice. That means exaggerating something like if a character hates his job, he could say, “I just love my boss. I just so look forward to how my boss is always on my case. As if I don’t have enough to worry about already.” That’s just one example, but the point remains clear. The exaggeration adds a layer of meaning. The character isn’t saying the true meaning. It’s dressed up in the sarcasm, and breaks up the simplicity of writing, “I hate my boss because of him being strict since I already worry too much as it is.”
Clarity is the last element of voice. That means voice will have to be more polished than people talk. And that’s okay. For instance, too many uses of “I mean,” “though,” “plus,” etc. might make writing feel clunky. That isn’t to say those words can’t sometimes be used. They can. They reinforce a casual conversational tone. But they should be used in conjunction with conveying something precisely like, “Arguing was pointless because she would never shut up.” That example isn’t the most profound statement. Yet it’s clear and concise.

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