Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Voice

A blue jay usually, but not always, heralds its arrival every time it comes to our deck for food in the summer. Its distinctive voice is being recognized right away. I don't have to be close to the deck to hear its coming. Another bird that has a distinctive sound is a crow. When it caws, we can tell immediately that it's a crow. While talking about a distinctive voice, I naturally think of some actors, whose voice can be identified in an instant, and every time I hear them speak in a movie Wes watches at home without watching it myself, I know who is speaking. Such actors are Al Paccino, and Tom Hanks, and of course, the deceased John Wayne.

So far I seem to be talking about the vocal sound. But am I? Absolutely not. I am using the birds and the actors to illustrate my point--the importance of the voice. For an actor to be born with a distinctive voice is a gift. For a writer to write with a distinctive voice is a talent. If you think you don't have a distinctive voice in your writing, don't be disheartened. You can get it by practice.

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