Apr. 08 Writing Prompt

Voice is the topic of the week, and as of today, the Thursday main blog covers the definitions, examples and understanding a little more in depth.

For the writing prompt, though, we will go a different direction and practice more with usage.

So far this week we have defined writer’s voice, written in our own voice and changed it, and identified the voice in a published novel.

Understanding voice and using voice are two different animals. Of course, you need to understand something before you can use it properly, but you should have a better grasp now that you’ve been following along all week.

So let’s move on to usage.

April 08

A man and his dog are walking on the beach. Up ahead, a woman is walking towards them waving her arms, trying to get his attention. Write a scene of at least 1 full page covering what happens next. Make a scene that is loving, one that is scary and one that is sad.

Three scenes. All set up the same way.

Yes, it is a lot of writing. I thought you were a writer? If writing 3 pages, double spaced about a beach scene is too much for you…I guess I understand.

For those that want to get better at writing though, this lesson is important.

Picture, if you will...
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but they are shitty words, badly written

Happy, loving scenes have a mild pace. You want the reader to take in all the love and happiness and flowers and sunshine that they can. But you don’t want to stall the story trying to give it all to them.

Likewise, a scary scene works best when there is elevated heart rates. A little panic to heighten the senses. You want to move fast, but deliberate. Jump scares. Psychological scares. Give the reader worry.

For a sadder scene, though, you need to wallow and be caring, compassionate and understanding. Your words and their pace will slow down a lot. Longer words with multiple syllables and longer sentences to draw out the feelings. These are the things you want to implement into your sad scene.

Did you Catch That?

If you were paying attention, you noticed that the above three paragraphs all used a different voice. The beats were different, and you could get a sense of what emotion I was pulling from you just by describing what I was doing.

If you go back and read them again, you may even notice that the voice in your head changes, too.

This is what you are after. Using the power of your words, your skill, to evoke the reader into the emotions you want them to feel.

Believe me, when you can make someone in your audience sad, or happy, or scared to turn the light off, just by showing them words on a page…that, my friend, is power.

Take your time here. Practice the three scenes. Write them, rewrite them if you have to. This is an important lesson in the power of words and you need to fully grasp the concept. Use it in your own project and your beta readers will notice a difference. I promise.

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