Zabowska's Blog

December 12, 2009

Voice is not Style of Writing

Filed under: Uncategorized — zabowska @ 8:54 pm

    Over the years, I have discovered that voice is not the same as writing
   style. Yesterday, I blogged about the importance of discovering your writing
   style. This should provide you quite a few hints about how you can write at
   your most optimal.
   Voice is very different from style although writers should develop both in
   order to be authentic writers who are writing outside the box.  This more
   than anything else will really be helpful for you to develop your writing
   career since publishers are always looking for new ways of looking at a
   concept or a situation.  So, what is voice?
   Voice shows the writer’s personality. If a writer develops his/her voice
   effectively, his/her writing will have a distinct sound from everyone else’s. It
   will contain unique feelings and emotions so that it does not sound like an
   encyclopedia article. If the writer successfully develops his/her voice, the
   reader should be able to sense the writer’s sincerity and honesty.
   For a writer to develop his/her voice, (s)he should write from the heart as
   much as possible. The language should bring the topic to life for the reader.
   The voice should be appropriate for the topic, purpose, and audience of the
   It may take a long time for a writer to develop his/her voice.  I know it did
   take me a long time. And I discovered that I write in many different voices.
   Each of these unique and different voices gives my manuscripts their cutting
   edge and makes them different from other articles on the same topic in print.
   For instance, most of my manuscripts are written from a kids or Tween
   voice. But in addition to these overall voice forms, I have other distinct
   voices. For instance, I am currently writing a series of picture books from my
   cat’s point of view. At first, I had a difficult time to imagine how he would
   think and act. But I now know that much better as a result of writing these
   When I write for tweens, I write from a psychological and philosophical
   perspective or point of view. The trick for me is to make sure that my pieces
   aren’t preachy or assertoric. But that is a fine line that I have to walk in order
   to write for this market. I also may write from a Christian point of view for
   this market.
   Lastly, when I write academically, I write from a philosopher’s perspective
   or point of view.  It is my area of expertise, so writing from that perspective
   and from the theoretical standpoint that I write within also gives my articles
   their cutting edge and publication.
   So, what different voices can you write within? One way to discover your
   voices is to determine what your likes, dislikes, opinions and so on are.
   Another way to discover your voice is to write from a pet’s perspective or a
   frog’s if you are writing for kids. This will give your writing the cutting edge
   that you need to get published.



  1. Hi, Irene,

    I too write in different voices. It depends on what I’m writing about and what age group.


    Comment by Karen Cioffi — December 13, 2009 @ 10:13 pm | Reply

  2. I am still developing my voice, which is very exciting to me! I am currently writing my first novel and my main goal is for my characters to seem real to my readers. I want each character to have their own quirks and characteristics, they have certain things they often say and expressions or habits so that the reader will be able to pick up on when they are deep in thought or feel uncomforable, etc. I don’t want to have a book full of characters that all sound the same or seem completely 1-dimensional. I am an emotional writer, I want my readers to feel what my characters are feeling, as though it is happening to them. Thanks for the awesome posts!

    Comment by Bella Channing — December 13, 2009 @ 10:25 pm | Reply

  3. Constructivists tend to adopt a narrow definition that voice is what makes one’s writing unique and personal; the intangibles that demonstrate an honest commitment to its writing. Constructivists would argue that the only clues provided to developing writers should be widespread reading and unencumbered writing practice. After a journey of self-discovery, the squishy concept of voice may emerge some day for some writers.

    I take a different view. I define voice a bit more globally, encompassing what old-time Strunkers called style, as well as point of view, tone, and diction (word choice). I think that discovering voice should be the result of a guided journey.

    Comment by Mark Pennington — January 2, 2010 @ 1:56 am | Reply

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