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Old 05-28-2018, 12:40 PM   #121
jonpiper
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Smile Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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It takes many trees to make a forest, grasshopper.

When you can snatch the brass fastener from the hand of the sensei, you will know what is “writer's voice.”

I see!

When Fundamentals of Good Writing was published, only hard copies of scripts were submitted. Hence, brass fasteners were all the rage. The internet has changed all that. Change is constant.

New terms and words constantly enter and exit our vocabulary. Over the years Sensei -master teachers- have created a new term that combines many elements of writing into one concept and at the same time is abstract and confusing as hell for students.
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Old 05-28-2018, 03:43 PM   #122
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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Quickly browsed through the link to Fundamentals of Good Writing, including the Table of Contents and Index. Didn't notice any mention of Writer's Voice or Voice in the pages.

I wonder why. Is "Writer's Voice" a fairly recent term? The book seems to cover all the elements of writer's voice without mentioning voice.
I haven't seen the Fundamentals of Good Writing but, I'm guessing, it's a book to teach you how to write. Voice is not something that can be taught. It's something you (personally) bring to the table. If you write honestly, competently and confidently, you have voice. It's part of you when you're not trying to copy someone else or follow arbitrary "rules" that shunt your voice.
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Old 05-28-2018, 04:00 PM   #123
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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Originally Posted by jonpiper View Post
Quickly browsed through the link to Fundamentals of Good Writing, including the Table of Contents and Index. Didn't notice any mention of Writer's Voice or Voice in the pages.

I wonder why. Is "Writer's Voice" a fairly recent term? The book seems to cover all the elements of writer's voice without mentioning voice.
(I swear I wrote a reply to this, but I cannot find it on the board. I guess I wrote it but forgot to post it. Fortunately, I made a copy for myself (I generally save my own posts in CintaNotes, a free program that is indispensable to me). So here it is, for what it is worth.)
I do not know how long ago the term voice began to be used, but it is not something new.

I do not want to start a firestorm here, but I am going to say this. The term voice is really not important except in the vocabulary of literary criticism (and we will say that screenwriting falls into the category of literature, for the sake of this discussion).

It comes down to this. Can you tell the difference between William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway? And I am talking about essentially two things:
  1. Overall style and technique.
  2. Issues and beliefs that motivate the writer and find expression through the first thing style and technique.
That is it in a nutshell. Voice is not something that you teach to someone. Voice is simply what the author is as expressed through his work.


Consequently, you do not need a long discussion of voice in a book on style and rhetoric. By contrast, you could write an essay on the nature of the voices of Faulkner and Hemingway and on the differences between them.
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Old 05-29-2018, 06:37 AM   #124
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

Now that the definitive word has been given by the eminent authority of these boards on the subject of writing, may this thread requiescat in pace.

Last edited by TigerFang : 05-30-2018 at 05:43 AM.
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:59 AM   #125
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

RIP Voice.

To be continued.
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Old 05-29-2018, 02:14 PM   #126
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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RIP Voice.

To be continued.
Nothing wrong with that. Heh.
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Old 05-29-2018, 06:39 PM   #127
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Nothing wrong with that. Heh.

Your voice is clear and strong.
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Old 06-22-2018, 10:36 AM   #128
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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I guess what I meant by voice was the way someone writes their narrative, like how everyone has their own distinct way of speaking/personality, you can feel a distinct personality shining through a particular narrative.

When I look up certain screenplays for movies, some of the writing seems very basic with little in the way of "prose" or personality, but they have a fantastic plot.

Meanwhile, there are other screenplays I read that have a certain flare to them, and the writer is using a lot of colorful words to help carry the script, ie, they have a lot of "voice."

Guess I was just wondering if the latter was a better way to do things.

That leads to another question, which I don't think has been answered.

In a screenplay, is the voice of the writer, as the OP has described voice, as important as the story?
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Old 06-22-2018, 11:22 AM   #129
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

That's an interesting question, isn't it? It seems to me you have to wow them one way or another. It could be with wit and charm, or with incomparable characters, or with a great plot, or with great originality, or with a fabulous story world, or with words that are hardly noticed but keep the story flying by and hold your interest, or with something else you do that no one else does, or some combination of any of these and more. My gut tells me that no one part of the amorphous thing we call voice could always be the one thing that wows them. You and your voice, whatever diverse things that make up your particular voice, could wow them if they feel you've written something spectacular, no matter how you did it.



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That leads to another question, which I don't think has been answered.

In a screenplay, is the voice of the writer, as the OP has described voice, as important as the story?
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Old 06-24-2018, 12:15 AM   #130
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Default Re: How important is voice in screenwriting?

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That leads to another question, which I don't think has been answered.

In a screenplay, is the voice of the writer, as the OP has described voice, as important as the story?
No.
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