Questions tagged [voice]

This tag should be used for questions about the literary voice in your writing, e.g. questions about active/passive voice, evoking a certain style, or representing sounds used for communication.

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1answer
33 views

What types of resources and primary sources are helpful for getting into historical character?

When you are developing characters for fiction, and particularly historical fiction, what kinds of resources do you find most helpful in establishing a distinctive voice? Two suggestions I've heard ...
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58 views

Where to find primary sources for getting into historical character? (voicing)

What sites, libraries, or other organizations have strong, easy-to-browse collections of letters, diaries, and other primary sources that are great for authors doing research for historical fiction ...
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1answer
62 views

Book on (character) voice

Any book recommendations that teach you how to make sure each character sounds different in dialogue and is recognizable even without dialogue tags? Any book tips to learn more about character ...
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3answers
131 views

Alternatives to Second-Person POV Narration

I am someone with no formal writing background, who has come to love writing for the fantasy adventure role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons (fifth edition) during my free time. I am currently ...
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2answers
73 views

Is using a different voice for protagonist's narration and dialogue ok?

My protagonist uses a lot of extensive vocabulary and is quite verbose. The novel I am writing is a first-person narrative, and my protagonist is the narrator of the novel. An extensive vocabulary ...
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13answers
8k views

Writing in a Christian voice

I'm Jewish. My middle-grade fantasy novel is very Jewish. Most of my characters are either Jews or converts/future converts or people with at least one Jewish grandparent. But some are not. My ...
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2answers
155 views

Tool for editing dialogue of each character

I would like to edit all of the dialogue of a specific character in my book. Then I want to repeat this for other characters. I think this would help to give each of them a unique voice. Of course I ...
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7answers
399 views

What points should a “Character Interview” method for character building hit?

What should a character interview contain to be successful where the goals are: characters with strong voice who are established with a distinct 'personhood' (?) and are generally interesting to ...
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10answers
2k views

Is it possible to narrate a novel in a faux-historical style without alienating the reader?

One thing that often annoys me in historical fiction or fantasy books is the dissonance between the writing style and the events and historical period described in the book. The writing is usually ...
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5answers
109 views

Can I use the passive voice to avoid referring to myself in a scientific report?

I'm writing a report for a piece of University coursework, but I understand that I should avoid referring to myself as "me" or "I". I've seen an example piece in which the author occasionally referred ...
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8answers
4k views

How do I differentiate between the “voices” of my characters in a multi-character POV?

I'm currently writing a novel with 3-4 character POVs in it - two male, two female. Each have different upbringings, different cultural backgrounds, different professions, different motivators and ...
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7answers
197 views

What should I do if I can't properly formulate the personality of one of my characters in my novel?

In my novel, my protagonist joins a team with four other characters to go on a quest. Each character in the team is supposed to contribute to the journey in someway and all are mentioned in a prophecy....
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7answers
229 views

What can someone do who struggles to write in active voice?

I will preface my question by stating I am very new to writing and new to this website. I am here for help. I'm writing a collection of inspirational short stories, as though I was sitting across ...
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3answers
313 views

Where can I find information on how different genres are conventionally written?

I'm having a very hard time finding a list and examples of stylistic subgenre conventions. To be specific: how genre writing impacts things like sentence length, dialogue, the tone of adjectives, ...
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3answers
163 views

Finding My Own Voice [duplicate]

It struck me today that one method of becoming a great writer could be to copy the style of one or more published authors. A bit like standing on the shoulders of giants. I was therefore going to ask ...
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2answers
121 views

I'm trying out a new style. How can I find out if it is my element?

I want to find out if writing in a very minimalistic and futuristic style works for me, but when I look at what I have written, I cannot tell if it works or not and if it is "my style". How can I ...
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5answers
4k views

How do male and female writing styles differ?

Many of my stories have two protagonists, one male, one female, and are told alternately from both viewpoints. I don't find it difficult to show the differing personalities through the different ways ...
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4answers
272 views

Is it acceptable to use synonyms to achieve rhythm?

There are some works that have a certain kind of voice, which is due to their rhythm. But is this due only to word order and like things, or do their authors actually choose synonyms to achieve rhythm?...
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3answers
82 views

Instruction manuals: should the end-user be addressed directly (passive vs imperative)?

Manuals come with virtually any appliance, and they typically target the end-user. Among other things (legal specifications, part numbers…), these documents contain specific instructions on what to do ...
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1answer
114 views

Using the Voice wisely

Of course, there aren't any rules in writing. But when something is used in exaggeration (or even Isn't used at all!) without prudence, it can ruins everything. A voice is like a guide to see the ...
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2answers
221 views

Is the strategy described here an effective one, to distinguish character voice?

I have roughly 30 speaking characters; about ten speak often enough that their voices should be well defined. I have compiled, from web sources, various considerations when building distinct character ...
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11answers
12k views

Using fake swear words without them seeming out of place to the reader

This is not a question about slang, but about swearing and word creation. I have a character who uses swear words, and this is part of his voice. I do not use real swear words. I want the sense of ...
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1answer
636 views

voice over or off screen for AI in a TV script

I'm writing a sci-fi script for a T.V. pilot (my first) in which there is, initially, an AI (that runs a spaceship) with no avatar (that comes later). It is not a narration when that "character" ...
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2answers
208 views

Is active or passive voice more common in scientific writing?

I am choosing between two sentences: We display the values of X in Table 1. The values of X are displayed in Table 1. The first is more action-oriented, the second is more passive but focuses on the ...
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2answers
1k views

How to describe a husky, low, sinister voice? [closed]

Hello! While I was writing for my fantasy novel, I was stuck on how to describe a very scratchy and low, but malicious voice for a grim reaper kind of like ghost in my story. The voice I'm trying to ...
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4answers
191 views

Is there a hack to bring out your “true” voice?

I've just approved my typeset manuscript and re-reading the book, I'm aware that it sounds very far away from my internal voice. Whilst it has all of the elements in practice, the colour and fluency ...
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3answers
199 views

What is it called when the reader is the focal point?

Here is an example of what I mean in present-tense (though narrative time is irrelevant): You walk into the empty room, you should be worrying about what's about to happen but instead your mind is ...
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1answer
89 views

What's it called?

As a novelist my preference is for what I call an 'active narrator'. The terminology confuses most as they think I'm talking about sentence construction and the benefits of 'active' or over 'passive' ...
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2answers
168 views

Active voice in situations where the subject is unknown

In a situation where a POV character isn't lucid enough to see or interpret what's going on around them, I find myself constantly describing things either in passive voice, or by using the word '...
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4answers
158 views

How to distinguish two different voices in one book?

A relative (who is no longer living) wrote a number of autobiographical pieces which I would like to publish in a book. I would like to include four or five chapters written by myself, that would ...
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8answers
878 views

How do I stop my writing sounding like a bad imitation of whatever author I've just been reading?

I like to read across a variety of authors, genres, and publication dates. Whenever I sit down to write something of my own immediately after marathoning a book or series, I tend to unconsciously use ...
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3answers
153 views

Appropriate use of outdated vocabulary and terms?

I'm in the process of planning a story right now, without the intention of sharing it it with others, but I would like it to be comprehensible if I do. It's set in the 1880s and is formatted like a ...
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6answers
266 views

How can one not let their voice show through in all the characters?

I was critiquing a friend's novel and I noticed that all the characters seem to have the voice of my friend. Speech fillers, vocabulary, sentence structure all seems the same throughout. How can ...
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2answers
1k views

How to write a sick character?

So, in my story, a main character gets sick with a virus. (Not a real one). I alternate POV's, and she is one of my favorite to write. I'm pretty sure her mindset would change slightly. But how? ...
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2answers
99 views

Describing the differences between languages

To help create descriptive differences in the way my characters talk I am looking for a list of how each language sounds. For example the German language has lots of clusters of consonants, and could ...
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1answer
379 views

Tips on writing grit

I'm writing up a new story (which I've asked for help on in a few other places) which is a little outside my forte. The majority of my current work is saturday-morning cartoon stuff, light fantasy or ...
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2answers
250 views

Who should I use for my POV character?

I'm in the early stages of a story with a large number of characters, a complex backstory and a long history. This is mostly because I crafted the world myself for months before deciding to write it ...
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2answers
370 views

What are the drawbacks of writing too much in the active voice?

I always hear people say, "Write in the active voice," so I decided to eliminate passive voice from my writing (as much as possible). It made my writing stronger, but I wonder: Does writing too much ...
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8answers
581 views

Developing your writer's voice

I'm a relatively new writer and sometimes I feel like my writing is too bland and that I'm struggling to develop my writer's voice. Does anyone have any good tips? Thanks
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2answers
337 views

In fiction, is the use of old-fashioned verbage or voice (ex. Tolkien, Le Guin) advisable?

If my genre lies somewhere in the fantasy-fiction spectrum, is the use of a more "dated" narrative style/vocabulary going to narrow my audience to a harmful extent? I've always been drawn to the ...
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3answers
267 views

Should I completely eliminate passive voice

I have read that a lot of passive voice deadens the story to 2 dimensional even if you are just trying to show something that takes time when you use the passive voice. I quite often use passive ...
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4answers
4k views

Technical Documentation Voice Preference : “Active Voice” - “Passive Voice” - A Mixture of both

We are working on a technical documentation project which includes the rewriting, modernization, restructuring, enrichment of the content. I'm doing the content rewriting and translation parts of the ...
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2answers
604 views

What voice (active/passive) is most suitable for literary academic papers (literary journals)?

I know that many scientific papers are expected to be written in passive voice according to APA style. However, I don't know if this applies to literary papers too? Or should they be written in active ...
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6answers
15k views

Fiction Novels & Active vs. Passive Voice

Before I launch into this, I've perused these threads and they don't quite answer the specific question I have in mind: When to keep the passive voice and when to remove it When *should* I use ...
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2answers
638 views

When mentioning two people in a sentence, what's the proper way to use a pronoun to reference the first?

Example: A fighter is someone who fights for the pleasure of the spectator, against his or her own safety. How can I clearly show that his or her refers to the fighter and not the master?
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2answers
1k views

Origin of Passive Voice or Third Person in scientific Writing

I was reading a turkish translation of Robert A. Day , How to Write & Publish a Scientific Paper. Foreword is written by A. M. Celâl Şengör. In this foreword The writer who always uses third ...
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3answers
1k views

When *should* I use passive voice?

Is there ever a good time to use passive voice in nonfiction?
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4answers
846 views

When should I avoid the passive voice? When might I use it?

An opinion exists that overusing of the passive voice can make writing harder for reading and understanding. Is it true for all kinds of writing? How to follow this advice without overemphasizing it? ...