The Right Notes: Writing While Listening to Music

When writing, people tend to do everything they can to make themselves feel absolutely comfortable and to ease themselves into the writing mood. This involves a lot of pre-writing rituals that may vary from person to person: walking around, talking to yourself, eating certain types of food, brewing coffee and smelling its aroma, exercising – the list is long, and for some, overwhelmingly so, and very much specific. But there’s one ritual – whether before writing, or during the process itself – that a lot of people do as, for one way or another, it could help in the writing process. I’m talking about listening to music.

Even outside of the act of writing, music is already an effective mood-setter for just about anything in our daily lives. The kind of music you play at the start of your morning can make or break the rest of your day. The music played on air while on your morning drive can either make you feel at ease in traffic, or irritated. A lot of times, when we want to feel certain things, or are in a certain mood, we listen to music. Music is effective in making you cope with certain situations, or making you enhance your experience of a situation. That’s perhaps part of the reason why movie awards shows recognize their scorers, or why video game reviewers also consider how good the music is when reviewing a game.

That said, what is the effect of music to the writer? In “How Music Affects the Writing Process” by Nona Mae King, King outlines how turning on her music actually begins her writing process. She says that “silence is distracting,” and that music ultimately helps her keep her focus. King also says that music enhances the mood that helps her “create a writing soundtrack… for a specific scene, character, era, or particular intensity [she wants] to impart to [her] readers.” In a way, it works similarly to how music sets the mood for certain scenes in movies and TV shows so that viewers may get further absorbed in what’s happening, or how video games use music to make the player feel more involved in exploration and battle.

And going away a little bit from writing, Gregory Ciotti in the article “How Music Affects Your Productivity” says that music’s “effectiveness is dependent on how ‘immersive’ a task is… the creative demand of the work.” Ciotti says that music certainly helps make repetitive tasks more enjoyable. However, it doesn’t take just any kind of music – familiar music would be better and less distracting. Much better if there were no lyrics. Ciotti’s article touches on the idea that music certainly helps you focus – and not just in writing, but in many other day-to-day activities, often ones that are mundane and repetitive.

Going back to writing, there’s certainly a positive effect for the writer who listens to music while writing. However, it’s not always the case. I know someone who tends not to listen to music while writing, as she finds this distracting.

Ultimately, it depends on you as a person. If you think music sets the mood and helps you write, then listen. If not, then there’s definitely no pressure. In any case, going back to my first point, it’s always valuable to know what makes you comfortable enough to get into the writing mood, and what makes you distracted. Do what’s best for your writing, and if it involves listening to music for your writing to be able to hit all the right notes, then by all means do so.

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Out of the Box: The Wonderfully Reckless World of Creativity

All good creative work is, in one way or another, a response to other creative works. They may deviate or follow a certain creative trend, but there will always be a way to position each creative work in the larger body. Take all the -isms we’re familiar with, for instance. Posthumanism is in a way a response to humanist thought. Post-structuralism is a response to structuralism. Postmodernism, though broad and rather difficult to define, is in a way a response to modernism. And so on and so forth. Works of art are reactions to something, derived from individual thought, personal reactions towards something, and the need to position one’s ideas in a larger conversation. But what if it seems as if everything’s been said and done, all stories have been told, all ideas appear to have been pinned down on paper and written or drawn or composed? What then?

That’s where your creative juices come in. Like I said, any piece of creative work is a reaction to something – so think of what’s already been written, and react to it. What did you like about it? What do you think doesn’t work? What could be done better? Take all these questions and try to answer them in your own work, and try to make things fresh and new. All easier said and done, certainly. Be assured that you’ll spend a lot of time, a lot of sleepless nights attempting to make a new creative work that you’d be even just a little satisfied with. It always pays, however, to think outside the box. How can you make familiar things strange? How can you tweak certain everyday situations for you to be able to view them in a new angle, a new perspective? Throw in crazy ideas and make them work. Do anything you need to do to make your brain flow, and initiate brainstorming sessions. Walk around, for example. Or read a lot and write a lot. Engage in free writing, engage in conversation, watch people or animals or events around you, and most of all, think about what makes up these people or these events. Definitely don’t give up trying to be creative — even if it will take you ages to come up with something great.

That said, here are a few quotes that might help inspire you and get you in the creative zone.

  1. “Creativity itself doesn’t care at all about results – the only thing it craves is the process. Learn to love the process and let whatever happens next happen, without fussing too much about it. Work like a monk, or a mule, or some other representative metaphor for diligence. Love the work. Destiny will do what it wants with you, regardless.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
  2. “Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.” – Ray Bradbury
  3. “Sometimes I think that creativity is a matter of seeing, or stumbling over, unobvious similarities between things – like composing a fresh metaphor, but on a more complex scale.” –  David Mitchell

Creativity is risking and being reckless, giving your head some space to be irrational but also making sure you can string all these together. So go ahead – defy expectations and write something people don’t usually see, talk about, or want to talk about. As Sylvia Plath said, “everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

Believe you can think out of the box and write something new and fresh — what may come out will surprise you.

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Right Spaces and Proper Places: The Importance of Knowing Where and When to Write

One of the things about writers is that they’re not always in the mood to write, because of little details under specific circumstance. It’s frustrating when you’re walking around and getting all these brilliant ideas to write down, just to have them all melt into the air when you finally get home and sit down to write. It may be because suddenly your location has changed and your environment has shifted. It may be because your house is not exactly conducive for writing. It may be one of many things, but all you can think about is how such a brilliant idea of yours has disappeared, and that you are unable to work on it again. It will be replaced by another brilliant idea, perhaps, something that comes to you while you’re walking, or watching other people, or doing various other things, and then it might disappear again. A vicious cycle, certainly.

This kind of situation – something that frustrates just about any writer – is the reason why it’s important to be aware of the kind of writer you are when it comes to writing in certain locations. No one can tell you where you can write effectively – only you know where and what kind of situation you must be in for you to be able to write effectively. It’s always reasonable to try out a lot of places – bring your notebook around, and write your ideas, or verses, wherever. It may be the park, or your favorite cafe. A restaurant in a mall, or somewhere in your school campus. It may even be at home, perhaps, or in your car. Whatever the case, it’s important to know where.

However – and this is also valuable to understand – you won’t always be comfortable writing in the same old places all the time. One coffee shop, for example, may be a good place for you to write your verses, but when you come down there to write your short story, it suddenly becomes off. The music grates, the smell of coffee makes you uneasy, and the quiet chatter of other customers might jar your head more than a little. So you set off, and find perhaps another coffee shop, or an entirely different place for you to write. And no one can tell you, I repeat – you’ll be the only one who’ll be able to understand that a certain situation is good enough to make you write. Sometimes, it’s not even a question of where but a question of when. Small details like the weather and what time of the day it is  all contribute to your writing mood.

So what can you do about it? Don’t fight the feeling, but rather be prepared for flashes of creativity. Bring a notebook, or a laptop, that you can access immediately to pin down ideas. That should keep you going, even if the verses aren’t full or the story is not complete. But the important thing is that you don’t use the place and the time as an excuse not to write, as not trying to write at all is much worse than writing something you’re not satisfied with.

So go around, look for the right place, and be prepared. You’ll eventually get in the zone and write down that brilliant piece.

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Is the Author Dead?: Why We Should Read Authors’ Nonfiction (and What We Can Learn from It)

Books are always the creation of their respective authors, and are therefore informed by a number of things concerning the author: what topics the author might be interested in, what particular events may have transpired in the author’s life that inform the events in his or her book, and who or what might have spurred the author to write that particular story. Stories spring from an amalgam of resources and references, but how all these are tied together is all up to the author, which may tell the reader what the author wanted to say, precisely, or what the text itself is supposed to do to the reader.

Of course, it’s not always easy to actually involve the author in the reading of the text, for various reasons. One may be that readers don’t exactly know a lot about an author, to begin with, or the context that produced that particular text. There is, too, a sort of resistance to the idea of reading a text in light of its author. French literary critic Roland Barthes, for example, said that “the image of literature to be found in ordinary culture is tyrannically centered on the author, his person, his life, his tastes, his passions,” and that to truly understand literature, one must metaphorically kill the author: “the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the Author.” In other words, if the reader thinks about the author and his or her life while reading the author’s text, it might immediately color the reading of that text. So just don’t think about the author and read the stuff and interpret it on your own.

But authors aren’t always dead, and the meanings they try to weave into the text don’t disappear just because you remove the authors themselves from the picture. Sure, it’s frustrating – especially in high school English classes – when you’re asked to share what you think the author said, because it might make you feel like an uncertain mouthpiece for that author. But literature is the product of a sort of co-authorship between the reader and the writer: the writer, of course, writes, and this writing is informed by their reality and what they want to comment on, while the reader interprets the text based on what they know of it and what they know of themselves. When a piece of literature becomes too difficult to understand, meanwhile, it’s always helpful to find out what the author might have meant by it, so there’s always one good thing to do when you’re stuck like that: read up on the author’s comments on the work, if there are any.

In this day and age, especially, a lot of authors do opinion columns on the Internet and elsewhere, share their thoughts over on social media, and release nonfiction books – usually collections of essays – talking about their work and their writing process. For both readers and writers, all these nonfiction material are helpful in two primary ways: to understand the author’s intents and the author’s work, and; to study the author’s craft. This is especially helpful when you yourself are trying to write, and are trying to figure out how others have done it – or have tried to do it, at least. What did those writers do to arrive at the point where they’re writing smoothly? What inspired them? What did they want to accomplish? These are questions that you can look at and think about when you’re reading nonfiction by authors, as often the nonfiction works themselves reveal how the writer thinks.

So what’s our take-away from this? It’s not enough to just write, the same way that it’s not enough to just read books and leave them at that. It’s always helpful and enriching to understand the authors behind the works, and to ultimately draw from what you’ve read and learned and apply them to your own writing. Remember: the author can’t die.

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Blog Roundup: Get the Write Help Now!

It’s always a good idea to look for places on the Internet that could offer some (or, let’s face it, a lot) of writing tips, but sometimes it’s not always easy to know where the good ones are. Not that they’re hidden or are few and far between, but that there are just so many blogs that cater to different writing and writers’ needs, to begin with. This post collects some of the blogs we’ve come across on the Internet, tackling different things from character development to general resources for writers. Hopefully these links will help you on your writing!

  1. The Writing Box – run by author Angeline Trevena, The Writing Box reblogs a lot of diagrams from grammar and vocabulary help, to popular authors’ writing tips for other writers. There’s a lot of writing advice that The Writing Box reblogs (most notably reblogs of posts that give word lists to help writers avoid such words as “very”), and they’re very helpful regardless of what your genre is or what kind of writer you are. Angeline Trevena also has a WordPress blog that caters to writers of speculative fiction, so if you’re a spec fic writer, you can check that out, too.
  2. The Writers Helpers  – The Writers Helpers primarily accepts questions on just about anything in writing, from general questions like plot concerns, to more specific ones like creating descriptions for LGBTQA+ characters. It’s basically a detailed, helpful Q&A for any writer needing help with their writing.
  3. FYCD – FYCD is a blog dedicated to discussing concerns and asking questions about character development and writing. What’s great is that they supply legitimately helpful resources to those who ask about how to write certain kinds of characters, as well as technical details on some topics like medicine, whenever it’s relevant to someone’s question on character development. They reblog stuff too – from world-building to drawing how-to’s, so it’s not all limited to character development. They also have a helpful page directing you to all the discussion threads in their blog, as well as book recommendations on writing characters.
  4. pen > sword – This blog is a wonderful mix of amusing art, quick writing tips and templates, and writing- and literature-related trivia. There are a lot of resources that can be found here, and will give you a smile as much as it will give you help.

That’s all for this round-up! There’s definitely a whole lot more than these four sites, and we’ll be sure to write about them more when we do another round-up, but even with these four sites alone, you’ll hopefully be able to find a world of writing help. Definitely don’t hesitate to ask or drop these sites’ admins if you ever need help.

Know more great websites for writers? Drop us a line!

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Short But Sweet: Creativity Through Constraints In Flash Fiction

In her introduction to the anthology Fast Food Fiction Delivery, Singapore-based writer and editor Noelle Q. De Jesus writes, “[e]veryone is writing shorter and faster, condensing the plot and crystallizing the climax…” Such is the essence of flash fiction, fiction pieces that are around 500 to 1000 words in length, packing the full weight of lengthier pieces of fiction in a quick package that can be read in a few minutes. It’s not exactly Twitter fiction (though several 140 characters-a-pop posts can be made into a flash fiction piece), but it’s not your regular short story, either. It’s smaller, faster, but with as much flavor as its larger, wordier cousins.

That does not mean that flash fiction is easy to write, however. Don’t let the shorter word count fool you – a faster piece can look easier to write, but the flash fiction writer must be able to skillfully weave in all aspects of a good story – from the introduction to the climax to the resolution – under the pressure of a smaller word count. So what’s the tendency going to be, for the flash fiction writer? Cut, cut, and cut some more. David Gaffney, in an article on The Guardian, writes about his experience writer shorter fiction (which he refers to as “sawn-off tales”):

It felt destructive, wielding the axe to my carefully sculpted texts; like demolishing a building from the inside, without it falling down on top of you. Yet the results surprised me. The story could live much more cheaply than I’d realised, with little deterioration in lifestyle. Sure, it had been severely downsized, but it was all the better for it. There was more room to think, more space for the original idea to resonate, fewer unnecessary words to wade through. The story had become a nimble, nippy little thing that could turn on a sixpence and accelerate quickly away.

Flash fiction compels you to remove the weight and decoration normally afforded to you by writing without any considerable restraint in terms of word count. This is a great test for how you are as a writer. Fond of long, painterly, but meandering descriptions? Need to take a while to introduce your character? Can’t help but use some lengthy dialogue between two characters to show just their relationship dynamic? All these will be challenged when you write flash fiction, and for better or for worse, you’ll be compelled to come up with new ways of going around your own writing, trying to come up with the same effect you’ve produced through longer prose.

But take that all as a challenge! There’s a lot of merit in trying your hand in writing shorter – but equally impactful – stuff. Who knows? Maybe you’ll get to fine-tune your writing, too!

I want to know more about flash fiction! But where do I go?

Here are a couple of resources to get you started:

Already written flash fiction? Share it with us!

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The Brutal Writing Process (and Quotes and Tips to Help You Through It)

If you’re a writer, or if you’ve ever tried your hand in writing in any form, you’ll know that the process of writing is a brutal process. Probably not the blood-sweat-and-tears kind of brutal (although there may be cases when one or all three are physically involved), but certainly straining enough: late hours spent staring at your word processor, trying to find the next good line, or maybe empty packs of chips and instant noodles and cups of coffee littering your desk, too busy as you are to cook or go out to get real food. The writing process may sound romantic, but in reality, it is not, any many writers – published or unpublished – are struggling to pin their ideas down neatly on paper, in a piece that people would want to read. There are no definitive lists telling you what the writing process exactly is, or how you’re going to experience it, as it is a personal endeavor. Only you will be able to find out how your own writing process – and in turn, your own habits, strengths, and weaknesses as a writer and as an individual – is.

That said, however, it is always helpful to take a few tips and inspiring quotes from authors who have already published their written work. Here are some tips and quotes from popular authors, on writing:

  • “My writing process often begins with a question. I write down ideas and let them stew for about a year. Then, when I sit down to write, I make a list of characters and try to see how they fit.” – Cynthia Voigt
  • “Never stop when you are stuck. You may not be able to solve the problem, but turn aside and write something else. Do not stop altogether.” – Jeanette Winterson*
  • “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” – Terry Pratchett
  • “You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” – Octavia Butler
  • “Work on a good piece of writing proceeds on three levels: a musical one, where it is composed; an architectural one, where it is constructed; and finally, a textile one, where it is woven.” – Walter Benjamin
  • “Do it every day. Make a habit of putting your observations into words and gradually this will become instinct. This is the most important rule of all and, naturally, I don’t follow it.” – Geoff Dyer*
  • “Find an author you admire (mine was Conrad) and copy their plots and characters in order to tell your own story, just as people learn to draw and paint by copying the masters.” – Michael Moorcock*
  • “For most of the process, nothing but faith, fueled by your own stubbornness, will be pulling you along. The work that you’ve done on the book so far won’t be much comfort, because so much of it will be insufferable crap, until the very last moment, when you figure out how to fix it and everything comes together.” – Kristin Cashore
  • “There are three secrets to writing a novel. Unfortunately nobody knows what they are.” – W. Somerset Maugham
  • “You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” – Jodi Picoult

Those are just some of the tips and quotes from writers who, like you, have struggled (and certainly) continue to struggle with the writing process. There’s a lot to be said about writing and how to write, but ultimately, how it goes – and how you deal with the bumps and frustrations along the road – is your own personal experience, something that only you can deal with (although something that can be lightened by going out every now and then, and distancing yourself away from your work). The important thing is always to write, to continue writing regardless of how bad you think your first draft is. 

Keep on writing!

*Note: Quotes with an asterisk are from The Guardian’s “Ten Rules for Writing Fiction.” Check it out for more tips on writing!

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Quotes to Help Overcome Creative Frustration

Some of the most frustrating things that people experience stem from creative projects. Artists of all kinds, especially, are never truly satisfied with what they produce. I’ve been told once that a work of art is never finished – just abandoned. And sometimes, it doesn’t matter which of the two you do. Whether you return to the piece or abandon it, you’re throwing yourself off a cliff – endless frustration from the former, and haunting from the latter. Meanwhile, you spend copious amounts of time on your piece, while others watch on and think you’re wasting your time.

These ideas, though, are formed under the impression that creative projects are not worth doing. Not to sound like I’m excluding certain kinds of people, but sometimes we find it true when we say that artists understand each other better than most people.

It is inevitable to feel frustrated, though, and so I step in armed with a few quotes from artists themselves, in the hopes of inspiring.

Here is one from Dilbert creator Scott Adams:

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

Another, this time from American poet Langston Hughes:

An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.

Japanese author, Haruki Murakami:

For me, writing a novel is like having a dream. Writing a novel lets me intentionally dream while I’m still awake. I can continue yesterday’s dream today, something you can’t normally do in everyday life.

And finally, from English author, Michael Morpurgo:

Encouraging young people to believe in themselves and find their own voice whether it’s through writing, drama or art is so important in giving young people a sense of self-worth.

Going through the quotes, we can get a general idea: art is an expression of the self, filled with mistakes and pitfalls, fueled by passion and pushing yourself further. So, like what the Adams quote says, being creative means making mistakes. Your creative output will be a mistake, not to everyone, certainly, but there will be people who will look at what you’ve done and say that they don’t get it. That they don’t see the value in it. It bears repeating, though, that creative ideas stem from the self, and end with the self, and creative frustration stems from – among other things – attempting to meet your own expectations while attempting to meet the projected expectations of others. Whatever you do, you will get mad, you will arrive at a point where you wouldn’t want to continue. But that’s part of life, and that’s part of the creative process.

It’s an idea that this site has repeated over and over again, in several posts, over the past several weeks, but constant reminder is a wonderful thing. Creative projects exist because you feel that they have to. Creative projects must be done because you have envisioned them. The idea is brilliant, it’s in your head – it’s in the translation that the work becomes arduous, the hours long.

Finally, keep in mind that it’s okay to be frustrated. It’s okay to feel like you want to give up, it’s okay to look at what you’ve written, and say, “I don’t like it.” But always keep the quotes in mind: that you have a choice in your creative output, you have the final say, it is your sandbox, it is your dream. It is the ocean for you, the one that only you can explore – sometimes, you just get stranded in the middle, sometimes you just feel hopeless because you’ve been sailing for hours but cannot see the land.

So feel frustrated, but also work hard to overcome that frustration. Besides, your story won’t write itself.

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Creativity from Simplicity

Few people, I think, actually want to complicate things. Simplicity is key, or so the saying goes (along those lines, of course), and complicating things can be both impractical and time consuming. That’s why a lot of students prefer not to close-read or over-interpret texts handed to them in their high school literature classes and college general education lit classes. But complicated texts – especially the modern and post-modern ones – can’t be avoided, and it’s definitely frustrating if finding out the meaning of something feels like a futile task, best left to literature majors. The thing is, while complicated – or complicated-sounding – passages sound impressive, they’re also harder to understand and appreciate, unless you like that kind of thing. And therefore simplicity is sometimes preferable to dense passages talking about the waste land.

Despite what is easy to believe – that a dense narrative, or really anything that’s studded with adjectives, verbs, and punctuation is something you’re supposed to read and appreciate over simple passages – simplicity has its own merits. And I’m not just talking about simplicity of language, but also simplicity of subject matter. A lot of texts written are dense not only in how they are written, but also in what they talk about, and often these delve into a lot of philosophical or metaphysical subject matter. Political, sociological, ethical – a lot of things. And while literature often succeeds in that regard, it will eventually get taxing if you’re just reading similar things, over and over again.

With that, I direct you to one of the poems by American Romantic, William Cullen Bryant. The poem is entitled “The Yellow Violet,” and talks about a simple flower and its merits, against the showy, gaudy blooms that blossom during the spring time. Here’s a passage:

Ere russet fields their green resume,

Sweet flower, I love, in forest bare,

To meet thee, when thy faint perfume,

Alone is in the virgin air

It will no doubt be better, if one were to read the poem in its entirety. But Cullen Bryant – and other poets and authors during the American Romantic period – extolled the virtue of simplicity, noticed every day things that people often took for granted, and crafted beautiful poems, beautiful verses, that celebrated simplicity and the every day quality that these simple things take. Another would be “Ode to a Nightingale” by John Keats. We go back to “The Yellow Violet,” and see that the language is not dense, but light and airy, beautiful and perhaps perfectly capturing the beauty of the yellow violet during its days of solitary existence by early spring. It’s not heavy, it’s not complicated, and it’s a quiet piece, beautiful and unhindered by too many bells and whistles.

What am I getting at, then? Creativity can be inspired by simplicity. A lot of people dream of writing the next big thing, the great novel of today that will be a classic tomorrow, the kind that has political statements and theological inquiries and food-for-thought. Existential crises galore, in other words. But take cues from Cullen Bryant.  Creating something out of something simple can also be detoxifying, purifying. Simple is beautiful, in other words.

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Voice Recognition: Why the Creative Voice

When reading a story, one can perhaps immediately establish the tone the piece is taking. Sure, it’s easy to talk about in terms of technicalities: first person, or second person, omniscient, limited – these are things, tenses, that a piece takes on in order to ground the reader to some point in time, or to establish a relationship between the reader and the text. It forms boundaries – or a semblance of boundaries – so that the reader will be given a frame through which he or she views the text. It may sound to the reader as if the text is happening at the moment, or as if the text is talking or referring directly to the reader, or as if the text sounds so detached to the reader that even the narrator sees the entire narrative through a lens. There are a lot of ways in which the text could be viewed, and the tenses and the voice count.

The creative voice – the voice of the text – matters, precisely for the same reasons I’ve mentioned earlier. The voice – the manner in which the text was written, how it sounds, how the narrator sounds to the reader – counts a lot. If the reader is new to the text, and has just found it, the reader would most likely test out a line or two, maybe a paragraph, to see of the voice jives with him or her, to see if the voice is easy or jarring, and to use this immediate impression as a springboard from which the reader takes off. Will the reader continue to read? Is the voice too easy? Does it sound like a kid talking, or does it sound so complicated and technical that it could ward off the reader or not get the reader’s interest? It’s definitely important to consider that, whether in reading or in writing, the voice exists in that manner because the author did it that way, and therefore there must be some reason why the author did it a certain way.

I’m talking in vague terms here, and it’s easy to get confused. Let’s put it this way: think of the text as someone talking to you. Does the text talk with ease? Does the text talk in clipped sentences? Does the text engage you and involve you, in how it was written, or does it alienate you? If you think of the voice of the text in these terms, it will be easier to establish your footing and your relationship – whether emotional or otherwise – with the text. If you’re writing, especially, it might be good to consider what the effect of your narrative voice is on your reader.

What does this mean? Bottomline is, if the voice doesn’t sound good, or if it doesn’t flow well, or if it does not work with the narrative or achieve that desired effect, it will certainly be problematic to your reader. The effectiveness of the voice relies on how well it is written, and how well it sounds. You might have a good, beautiful, flowery text, with a lot of things and images going on, but if it doesn’t sound like the voice is doing you any good, it might be a problematic kind of voice for you. Or, think of it this way. If the text is read aloud to you, do you suppose you’d like how it sounds like, being read aloud?

Of course, the voice – and how good it sounds – may also be a matter of preference, but that’s one thing to think about, don’t you think? Don’t keep the voice too complicated – if you’re writing – or try at least not to alienate the reader with the way the narrative and your characters are speaking. Establishing a good first impression is key, wherever you are and whatever happens, and it’s in the sample that a reader randomly picks out and in the voice which presents itself immediately that may make or break the reader’s relationship with the text.

 

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