Six Things Readers Need: Voice

This book, too, has a voice. It's called "dad."Every piece of writing has a voice. Even if the writing is written in the third-person, that writing has a voice. The reader can hear the timber of it. The reader becomes familiar with it. The voice becomes as real to them as a voice in a conversation does.

Finding that voice is no easy feat for the writer. It can only be found by writing and writing some more. It only can be discovered by listening to one’s readers. A particular voice may be the correct choice for one audience but not for another. Perhaps the voice needs to change somewhat in order to reach another audience. Maybe the writer needs to evaluate who comprises his or her audience. If an audience isn’t receptive to the writer’s voice, it could be that the writer simply is speaking to the wrong audience. Then again, it could be an issue with the writer. Maybe the writer doesn’t offer the readers predictability. Maybe he or she doesn’t respect the readers.

The question of voice also is determined by subject matter. For instance, a journal article requires a more formal tone and structure. Business writing, too, has its own rules and regulations regarding voice. That doesn’t mean the voice is non-existent; rather, it is cloaked in a different manner. The voice is still there. It is making its point, even if it is doing so via a well-placed semicolon and a conjunctive adverb such as “however.”

Comments

  1. Writer always need to be careful about what he is being talking, the time and identifying audience. I’ve seen some writers just never think about those factors and trying to maintain same tone and style when they engage with different type of audience. At that times, I’d lost in the middle of their writing.
     
    Thanks for sharing Erin 🙂 It seems pretty basic for someone, but really effective and they could be the tuning points. Learn the basics to be perfect. Right? 🙂
     
    Cheers…

    •  @Mayura The basics are essential, and it’s good to review them periodically. I tend to liken the basics of writing to the basics of dancing. No matter how complicated the writing or the dancing seems, it’s based on basics.

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  1. […] anyone ever told you to “find your voice“? It’s a curious bit of opaque advice that people like to share, but what does it really […]

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