Introduction: The Macro Level
The first part of this workshop explores the big picture of the voice, or looks at it from a bird’s-eye view. We often think that a writer’s voice stands for a unique writing style, and it does. But this is not the entire story. The style is the micro part, which we’ll examine in the second module. But foremost, a writer’s voice is something far greater, it is the weather in which our works dwell, or as Raymond Carver puts it succinctly, a writer’s voice is:
a unique and exact way of looking at things, and finding the right context for expressing that way of looking… There is another world according to Flannery O’Connor, and others according to William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway… it [voice] isn’t style alone. It is the writer’s particular and unmistakable signature on everything he writes. It is his world and no other. This is one of the things that distinguishes one writer from another.
The writer’s voice is, above all, the consciousness of the creator. In short, it’s YOU. Does this sound both simple and complicated? I certainly think so. Let’s unpack this ‘simple complexity’ together.