authors, writing

Top Three Voices

Unless you are a prodigal genius that was born with overwhelming, and completely natural writing ability, most writers have to find their voice.  Sometimes, it comes to them without a lot of effort, and they can truly call it their own, but sometimes they have to copy other people’s voices before they can actually mold it into their own style.  The latter is definitely how I figured out how to write.

Looking back to when I first really started to enjoy writing, I don’t think I realized I was mimicking the voices of others.  Growing up I had always done a lot of reading, but the authors that I read weren’t really the voices I ended up using to develop my writing.  In fact, the voices I copied ended up being from what I had heard and seen and not from what I had read.

Looking back now, I’m realizing that I actually ended up mimicking specific voices I had heard on television and in movies.  While I have added my own quirks and my own flair to what I write, there are three specific voices I feel that I originally based my writing off of.  Sometimes, while you’re writing, you can just hear a character talking in a certain voice, and these are the three that happen to come into my head the most.

A Christmas Story: Ralphie

Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 11.28.39 PM

This may sound like an odd one.  However, I am realizing more and more how much I actually use the voice of Ralphie, from A Christmas Story, or at least other voices like his.  I like his voice and character because it accurately represents the thoughts of a child, but, in the movie, it is not actually a child’s voice that you hear.  The voice was actually performed by Jean Shepherd who was in his early sixties when the movie was made.  When writing short stories or humorous works, I tend to use this voice even if the piece is not about a child.  Jean Shepherd does an excellent job of conveying humor and sarcasm, which are both elements that I like to incorporate into my writing.  Also, whenever I am writing a short story about children or one child specifically, I do tend to use a voice very similar to the one Ralphie has in A Christmas Story.

Major Posts I’ve Used This Voice In:

A Day in the Life of the Average Lifeguard

A Short Story, Ask My Imagination About Labor Day

TMI Tag

What’s in a Title?

 

BBC’s Sherlock: Benedict Cumberbatch

Screen Shot 2018-02-23 at 1.09.48 AM.png

If you’ve read any part of my blog, you will learn very quickly that, yes, I am very much a Sherlock fanatic.  Whether it’s the original stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, or re-watching episodes of the BBC series (I’m still in utter disappointment that they aren’t making a 5th series…) I’ve been fascinated by the character of Sherlock for years.  While the original voice of his character was portrayed excellently in the short stories, this post is about me using movie and TV show voices in my writing.  So, yes, I’ll admit, I do tend to sometimes mimic a little bit of Benedict Cumberbatch’s know-it-all, sociopathic attitude.  Overall, I just really enjoy how he mixes intelligence with sarcastic and dry humor, and I especially appreciate the British accent (actually, I have a post about how to use a British accent to prevent writer’s block!).  I also really find this voice useful when writing as a character that finds strange things exciting or when expressing a character that has a few quirks.  It also helps me when I’m wanting to over exaggerate a stereotype of lightly poke fun at someone or something. While I do use this voice quite a bit in short stories or especially sarcastic works, I sometimes mix it in a bit with my more professional writing to take off a little bit of the edge.  The intelligence and confidence that the Cumberbatch expresses on screen is actually fabulous when trying to write informative posts, and it can be reflected easily in both fictional and non fictional works.

Major Posts I’ve Used This Voice In:

Diary of a Liar

A Montel Murder: A Murder Mystery Part 1

What Type of Writer Are You?

Calming the Brainstorm and Deciding What to Write

A Tribute To Arthur Conan Doyle

A Proposal to End An August School Start

To Kill A Mockingbird: Scout Finch

Screen Shot 2018-02-23 at 1.40.04 AM.png

So maybe this is my small, inner, classic literature nerd coming out (and it is a small nerdism, believe me I haven’t actually read that many classics…), but ever since I saw the movie To Kill A Mockingbird in my eighth grade English class, I have used Scout Finch’s voice when writing my more emotional pieces.  I also really find it useful when writing pieces that involve a lot of imagery, fear, or pain.  Although Scout is just a young girl during the time of the story, it is a flashback so she is able to express the pain and tragedy that occurs in the story as an adult.  Since she is describing many things from a child’s perspective though, her descriptions and imagery are still very detailed.  I like her narration of this story because it simplifies certain elements down to a child’s understanding, and then blows them back up into real, raw, and emotional scenes that adults can understand.  The issue of Boo Radley and his loneliness throughout the story has given me inspiration in many of my short story excerpts, and the determination and intelligence of Atticus Finch allows the intelligent and honesty side of my writing to pop through a bit more.  I find this voice a bit more difficult to explain, and I think that is because it’s the one I improvise most on.  However, this story definitely has given me inspiration in many of my writing pieces.

Major Posts I’ve Used This Voice In:

Today I Break Down

The First Time I Was Proud of My Writing

Fading, Dying, or Somewhere in Between

Forgotten

Short Story Part 1

Poetry Volume 1

Flash Fiction, A Monologue

 

***That’s it!  I hope you guys found this post useful and engaging.  Feel free to share in the comments any voices/books/movies/TV shows or pieces of inspiration that help you in your writing.  I always love to hear from you guys and anything you share is appreciated.  Thanks so much for reading!***

 

 

 

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Top Three Voices”

  1. I adore Sherlock too!
    I love the way the BBC show and Cumberbatch portray him as manic and clever, yet entirely ignorant of some things! (The solar system!) John is also really well written, and I love the way the two characters interact 😀 The dialogue is great, and Sherlock has a really strong voice.
    I’m still hoping a 5th series might happen one day!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find myself analyzing my own writing in this manner. I have different voices I fall into when dealing with certain topics or when I’m writing fiction vs. commentary. It’s great to be mindful of such things.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s