Monday, February 22, 2016

Word. Image. Voice. (A very short post)

Word. Image. Voice. For me, these three words have long been associated with writing. How? Let’s consider them in reverse order.

Voice ... 

Often referred to as style or tone or slant. It relates directly to the human voice in communication. Every author has a distinct “voice” that we “hear” when we read their writings. And they will also evoke different tones of voice from one piece to another, depending upon the genre, subject, context, audience, and medium. Yet, even as the tone and slant differ, a writer’s distinct voice can still be discerned.

Image ... 

We often think in images before we enunciate meaning into words. Imagery, metaphor, similes, personification, hyperbole, and all figures of speech create the image behind every message. Good writing, regardless of  purpose, makes good use of strong images. Understanding is enhanced by the evocation of a clear image or set of images that engage both the mind and emotions.

Word ... 

Words are the essence of intelligent communication. The words chosen and how they are arranged will determine and give life to the voice of the writer. In writing, images are created and animated through the careful use of just the right words. 

Anyone can put words on paper, but not everyone can truly write! (But they can learn. Sometimes.)

A piece that needs “fine tuning” often has a murky voice (or tone or slant). An item that isn’t “clear” may lack well-drawn images, or mix conflicting images. Fixing these elements calls for the rearrangement (rewriting, reorganizing) and reselection (editing) of the words used.

When the right words deliver strong images in a convincing and credible voice -- that’s powerful and effective writing at work!

How’s yours?

Do you struggle to write clearly? Why do you think that is? Do you believe these tips can help you? Do you write well? How can you tell? Are there other tips you have found helpful? Please share in the comments!

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