Tag Archive: writing voice

Three tiresome writing voices

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Every written work has its own voice – a unique personality and energy giving life to the words.

What impression does your writing voice give people?

Some writing voices get tiresome pretty quickly. They’re used too much and usually not well. They might convey indifference to your readers or something mean-spirited or lazy in the way you think.

Here are three common examples:

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Write What You Know?

When you’re advised to “write what you know,” it’s not so much an absolute rule as a word of caution. Whether you’re crafting the copy for an ad or writing a short story, it’s crucial to have self-awareness when using the voice of characters who come from a background quite different than yours.

This funny Onion advice column from a couple of years back highlights the point beautifully: Ask An Elderly Black Woman As Depicted By A Sophomore Creative Writing Major.

Look over what you’ve written. Have others look it over. Does it sound authentic? Or is it, beyond all hope, cringeworthy and fake?

– Hila