VOICE -- IN A PLETHORA OF APHORISMS / Harry Youtt

Narrative voice, that which we are attempting to "find," is all of these things. Yet there is no single sentence that can capture the entire concept. View these aphorisms as facets on the cut/polished stone of "voice." Seeing its luster from all of these angles will help you to take a bearing on what "voice" is all about.

Voice is the sound that a page of words makes when you ring it.

Voice is the real "you" talking under and beyond all of the surfaces you think the world expects you to be -- or to appear as.

Voice is elemental attitude.

Voice is the part of our inner core that seeps out around the words our characters say -- most often when we aren't being especially cautious.

Voice is a message from you in your own true altered state, bubbling up from your core and filtering through the character whom you choose at any moment to be speaking on your behalf.

And the exciting thing is that voice can come through and be delivered out of the mouths of a variety of characters a writer creates. They may not all represent the writer equally, but most stand for a part of what is inside the writer. The only criterion is that the writers live the character as an authentic truth.

Voice:Style:Tone -- voice is to style as appearance is to dress. Style is the presentation of your voice. Tone is the way everything SOUNDS to the ear that really hears.

Voice is not just what we think we are going to find in there rattling around waiting to be said; it also includes what we never thought we would be saying.

Voice is the part of you -- writing -- that is most likely to reveal something that even you didn't know you knew -- or thought -- or felt.

Voice isn't just one person; it might even include members of a group that argue and elbow each other out of the way to get to the front and be heard. Voice might even be, indeed often is, the quiet one who expects never to be listened to or called upon to speak up.

Voice is you in the fictive dream.

Voice is yourself honestly; it is the honesty beyond the words, beyond what is being said.

Voice is that which makes a character interesting, even fascinating, in spite of what might be the drab and tedious dullness of that character's situation.

Voice is the level of truth that rings beneath the truth we thought we'd gotten to.