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December 26, 2012
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Good god(s) y'all, I think it's time this came up.

DISCUSS: "Voice is the only thing a writer needs to make a story truly their own."


-15,000,000 if you don't know what 'voice' means and won't ask. How exactly did you think people learned things, again?
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:iconmaxwellsmaart:
MaxwellSmaart Jan 20, 2013  Student Writer
Truly their own? You're telling me I could re-write a best seller with my own voice and it would be my own?
That was my first thought, though I understand what the real point is here. Maybe my first was thought extreme, but it's intriguing. What about all those Alice in Wonderland spinoffs, and works like that? Does that make the stroy their own? Food for thought.

My actual response: To me, voice is really important. Sets the tone and evokes feeling from the reader. That's why we write, right? To tell stories and get a reaction, feedback. Voice helps, absolutely.
Interesting thread, for sure.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Jan 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't think you could literally rewrite a bestseller in your own voice. I think by the time you were done, it'd be a different book because of your voice ;p

Hmmm. Yeah, I dunno. I mean, there's 'own' in like some artsy mental sense and then in the srsbsns copyright sense.

:nod:
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:iconmaxwellsmaart:
MaxwellSmaart Jan 21, 2013  Student Writer
Hmm. Agreed.

True. :dummy:
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:iconthe-monoblos:
The-Monoblos Jan 3, 2013  Professional Writer
"Voice" - solely for the purpose of making something your own? "no".

Two voices can be the same as a third, would I be being pedantic if I asked "Does this make something one's own?"

But yes, at the same time, each person has their individuality about them and that individuality, seen through their 'voice' is very important in making something one's own. I'm going to take an example here of William Shakespeare play 'Macbeth'.It's a fantastic play that defines feudal relationships, has links with morality, destiny, pre-determining and so on. When written it was fascinating and it's still fascinating now. But, just because the original play was one thing that doesn't make it completely unique (in my opinion) from today's staging of the play. Today we have the play in hundreds of different languages and in vastly changing time periods. I'd like to bring up the filmmaker Akira Kurusawa - proclaimed the master of Shakespearean film with timeless classics such as 'Ran' or, more prominently 'Throne Of Blood' (being based ON Macbeth). Both Shakespeare and Kurusawa are individuals themselves and have worked on their own projects.

Akira Kurusawa, basing Throne Of Blood off Macbeth, completely used his voice in his adaptation of something that was originally created in Shakespeare's voice. But here's the kicker - the film does not use a single line, not even a single word from the play although it keeps the themes and even relating characters and relating places. Instead of basing it around traditional Middle English acting it works with the way of N'oh acting from Japan. Yet the way it's shot relates to the play so that you feel you are in a theater. I ask now "Does this mean Kurusawa's voice is what makes the film his own". Again I say "no".

We all have a voice but we need the words the speak. This, when you may think about it, collides with "Voice is the only thing a writer needs to make a story truly their own". Shakespeare and Kurusawa both knew what their voice was, as should hopefully everyone in here - without knowing your own voice you are, in so many ways, held back. The thing is - they both knew which words to say "with" their voice. They knew they could make something in whatever way they desired, so they each did. they each knew they were making things in the specific way that they did. 'Voice', combined with this (and other things) makes something one's own - why? Because it shows you've mastered yourself - mastered yourself 'in your product'.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Did not know that about Kurasawa's stuff. I don't know if cinematic 'voice' works quite the same—if we take 'personality' and extend it to visual art or film it becomes different things, I would argue that the 'voice' of a film (disclaimer: I'm a total Philistine about films) is the overall ambience, which includes things like values, perspective, which cameras were used, jitter, lighting. For instance, a lot of 'The Ring' being set in cloudy/kind of dark scenes; if it'd been bright and happy it'd be a totally different scene.

Okay, being able to convey your voice? Good call. :P
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:iconthe-monoblos:
The-Monoblos Jan 3, 2013  Professional Writer
I'm very interested in film - other than literature film is really my #1 thing, with Kurusawa being #2 in my interest list in that so it was an easy example to pick out for me. most films have their own voice though which, to a large amount is imported from the director's vice with other hints at voices coming in form the entire production team. I love pointing out to a lot of people that, really since Truffaut created the auteur theory the directors of the world are far more enigmatic and powerful than most actors in what they can do. It's fantastic, a part of me wants to do film narrative theories as a full time job with hints to reviewing - I love it
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Jan 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ahhh.

It's awesome stuff, although honestly I like watching explosions even more than thinking about 'em.
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:iconmemnalar:
Orson Card has a way of researching the living hell out of everything and going through his characters' motions step by step. His protaganist doesn't just make tea, you get the whole damn process, where the leaves came from, how the infuser is designed, everything. In Magic Street, he even describes a character's feces and how it relates to his diet. Not for no reason; the character is out in the woods, and the aside about his clean turds and good diet explains why he doesn't have to worry about toilet paper. It matters to Card that this question is answered, and he constantly answers questions in his work.

Is that voice? I don't know, but it definitely makes his work distinctive. His patience of detail actually adds to the pacing and suspense; he knows exactly what he's doing, and does it well.

I think voice happens when you practice writing enough that certain things happen without much direct thought on your part, and these things manage to survive the editing process.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That's interesting...I think I remember getting this around the edges with Ender's Game, probably more so in Ender's Shadow. I've heard everything outside that series is good, so at some point I'll have to read it.

I mean, it is the information he thinks the reader needs to see. I think didactism can be part of a voice, too.

I'd call that natural voice, but I think you can do more depending on who the narrator needs to be.
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:icontheskaboss:
TheSkaBoss Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
To make it their own? Yes.

To make it? No.
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