Monday, October 1, 2012

"Telling The story, Telling the Truth" and "On Voice"

“When you read aloud, extraneous material falls away.  Voice is-as the word itself tells us- the way a writer talks.  You are speaking to your readers.”

I like this quote because it makes a good point about developing your writing voice.  When you read a good article, or a good book, or a good blog, you enjoy it because it “speaks to you.”  It’s not like reading a textbook where you simply read the material and try to learn what you need to learn.  No, it’s more.  The text speaks out to you like someone’s telling you a story.  And if you read your work out loud; as the writer here mentions, the extraneous material falls away.  You should be able to tell what you need and don’t need.  I can think back on reading my favorite books and I realize how the books kept me intrigued because it was like they where spoken to me.

“My desire as a writer is to make it impossible for the U.S. reader to ignore Latin America.  I do that by telling stories.”

  I like this quote and the insight the writer gives on how detailed stories can really get a point across a lot better than a newspaper article or a report on the news.  She goes into more detail throughout the article but I think her point was that when someone watches the news, there’s really no empathy.  I could turn on the news or open the newspaper and read about an earthquake in Haiti, or the atrocities happening in some war-torn country, but that would be about it, I would just read the article or watch the news report.  I wouldn’t really get a feel for what’s going on, and frankly, if its not affecting me directly (which it probably wouldn’t), I probably wouldn’t care much for it.  But to read a story with detail, a person’s story, to learn their person hardships, and share their experiences and feelings through a good book is very different.  I remember learning about the Holocaust in school.  Learning the facts about the war, the casualties, Hitler.  But nothing really hit home with me like reading “Night,” by Elie Wiesel, or “The Diary of a Young Girl.”  Books like those will grab your attention and really give you a feel for what the author is trying to get across. 

 “Writers must give themselves that freedom to fail.  As a dancer I learned that unless I jumped as hard and as high as I could until I fell, I hadn’t found out how hard or high I could jump.  Risk-taking and failure is important.”

I like this quote and I think everyone should be able to relate to it, and not only when it comes to writing, but life in general.  I would never have known I could dead lift 405 lbs if I hadn’t tried lifting past what I knew I could lift.  And I know 405 lbs is the most I can dead lift right now because I tried to lift 425 lbs and failed.  With anything in life you have to push yourself past your limit to find out what your limit actually is and to get passed it.  Writing is no exception.  I think it’s a general conception that writing is hard.  If it where not, we’d all be writing novels like “The Great Gatsby,” or “The Catcher in the Rye.”  Because of this, I think there’s a general fear in trying to really write.  You won’t find out how great of a writer you can really be unless you dare to find out.  

1 comment:

  1. I really like the quotes you chose and your responses to them, especially the last one. It's definitely true that you don't know what your limits are until you try - and even then, those limits can always be pushed. Writing can always, always, always be improved upon.

    Also - if you want to read a book about the holocaust that somehow breaks you and rebuilds you, read Viktor Frankl's Man Search For Meaning.