Voice isn’t just about writing. It’s about who you are, your individuality. Voice lives in art, dance, sports, etc. The way we walk, speak, breathe, dance, and move are all parts of our voice.
1. Read WriteSource page 40. Complete the “Try It!” at the bottom of the page in a Word/Pages document.
2. Read the story below. It has a very strong voice. The author’s personality really comes through.
As soon as school was out, we left on vacation. Nothing went the way it was supposed to. Dad backed into a tree on the way out of the driveway, pushing the bike rack thought the rear window and nearly scaring my sister to death. She was cranky the rest of the trip. We had to take our other car, which is smaller and you can’t hook the bike rack up to it. Now my sister and me were crowded together so much she kept complaining about me breathing on her and taking up all her air and foot room. Plus, now Dad knew a big bill would be waiting for him when we got home. It put everyone in a lovely trip starting mood.
We were supposed to go to Yellowstone Park. Well, actually we did, but just barely. I think we hold the world’s record for the shortest time spent in the park. This was all due to my mother’s new attitude towards animals. The night before Yellowstone we stayed in a cabin on the edge of the park. It had a lot of mice, but most of them had the good sense to stay hidden in the walls. One poor furry guy had a death wish and showed himself. The whole family went into action. My father got a broom, which looked like an oversized weapon for a mouse. My mother hugged her pink flannel nightgown around her knees, jumped up on a wooden chair, and started shrieking, “Kill him, kill him!” Her eyes were as big as her fists. I had never seen anyone quite so bloodthirsty. My sister spent the whole time dancing on the bed crying her eyes out and yelling, “Don’t kill it Dad! Don’t kill it!” It was up to Dad and me to trap it. We got it in a pickle jar and took it down to the lake and let it go. It seemed really happy to get away from us. I thought I knew how it felt.
The next day we raced through Yellowstone and then headed home. My mother said she had had enough of animals. For weeks afterwards, this was the big story she told everyone who asked about our vacation. You’d have thought the whole point of our trip was to go on a mouse hunt. Dad said all the money we saved not going to Yellowstone could go to pay for the broken car window, so for him the trip worked out perfect. As for me, I’m still planning to get back to Yellowstone one day. I want to see something bigger than a mouse.
Now, in the same document, rewrite the “Mouse Alert” story, only this time take all the voice OUT! If you can make this story sound plain, generic, and boring, you can make our own narrative sound interesting, unique, and exciting.