VOICE – from the 6 Traits of Writing

Your voice is what gives your writing personality, flavor and style. Here are some questions to ask yourself when writing. These will help to develop your sense of voice.

Can you tell I am enthusiastic about my topic?
Does this writing sound like me?
How do I want my readers to feel?
Will my story hold readers’ attention? Will they want to hear more?

Read the two stories below and decide which author grabs and holds your attention.

1.  I went canoeing with friends. They brought their dog. It was hot outside. The water felt good. The dog liked to play in the water with us. We all got wet. It was fun!

2.  One sizzling August afternoon my friends and I cruised down the Wisconsin River on a bright red canoe. Their energetic golden retriever, Paddington, rode along with us. Whenever one of us would shout, “Switch sides,” Paddington would jump up and dance around. One time he leaped so high, he tipped the bouncing boat. We all flopped into the water splashing and laughing like baby seals. What fun!

Which story was more fun to read? In the second story you could hear the writer’s voice. The author’s enthusiasm made it easy for readers to imagine what was happening.

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