Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Voice for January

Voice is the author’s fingerprint on the page. By using voice the reader feels more in touch with the writer’s emotions, opinions, and personality. Voice is a favorite trait of students. They love to read books with lots of voice which in turn carries over to their writing.

Voice is one of the most challenging traits to teach because it is an orchestration of many elements.  For me, it is difficult to separate word choice, sentence variety, from voice.  In my search for more clarity to share with the teachers, I have found several web sites.  I am offering them to you in hopes that they will help you and your students as well.  

Christopher Meeks  - this blog explores the different types of voice - what is appropriate for which social register. He has some excellent, practical ideas.

Christopher Meeks writes for and teaches creative writing at CalArts, and he also teaches at Santa Monica College and UCLA Extension. He has published four nonfiction children's books and written many short stories. His stories have been published most recently in The Santa Barbara Review, The Southern California Anthology, Rosebud, and Writers' Forum. His plays--Fiveplay, Suburban Anger, and Who Lives?-- have been produced in Los Angeles. Who Lives? earned several grants for its production, including one from The Pilgrim Project, a group that assists plays that "ask questions of real moral significance." For seven years, he was a theater reviewer for Daily Variety, and for two years he wrote a column for Writer's Digest. His screenplay, Henry's Room, won the Donald Davis Dramatic Writing Award.

Voice  I love this blog.  It consists of teaching materials for all six traits.

RAFTS  This is one of the best ways to teach voice.  We are all familiar with how to use a R(ole) A(udience) F(ormat) T(opic) S(trong verb - only in 6+1 traits).  This blog gives some great ideas and explainations.

Enjoy this information and the holidays.


Mark Pennington said...

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.

D.Bassett said...

Thanks for the feedback, Mark. We discussed it during our session after school, Darlene