One-Minute Book Reviews

January 29, 2007

The Best Things I Never Wrote: Quote of the Day, #4

Filed under: Quotes of the Day,Writing — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 9:28 pm

Donald M. Murray on the importance of a writer’s voice …

“Voice allows the reader to hear an individual human being speak from the page. Good writing always has a strong and appropriate voice. Voice is the quality, more than any other, that allows us to recognize exceptional potential in a beginning writer; voice is the quality, more than any other, that allows us to recognize excellent writing. We respond to voice when we hear it. Voice gives the text individuality, energy, concern.

“Voice is, of course, closely allied to style or tone, but I prefer the term ‘voice’ for it seems more accurate and more helpful for the beginner. However we discuss style, it seems to get related to fashion. Style sounds like something you buy off the shelf. It is made by someone else and changes with the season. The term ‘style’ encourages the misconception that writing is inherently dishonest, that the writer has to say what someone else wants the writer to say in manner appropriate to someone else. But good writing is honest – honest in what is said and how it is said.”

Donald M. Murray in A Writer Teaches Writing: Revised Second Edition (Heinle, 2004). An appreciation of Murray, who died in December, was posted on this blog on January 1, 2007, and is archived with the posts for that month.

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Rubric Theme. Blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 357 other followers

%d bloggers like this: