Voicing Concerns About Voice

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Sometimes it is just comforting to know that other students are struggling with the same things as you are.  That’s why it was nice to read Matt Henderson’s blog and see he has been considering the whole issue of a journalistic voice as well.  He noted very wisely that Cox used much fewer quotes than Stockton did.  Stockton used many quotes, which is good, but it didn’t give the reader a chance to feel like they knew the author at all.  As he wrote, “I couldn't really picture the subject or any of the people interviewed because so little time was spent describing them physically.”  There was no real connection with the people interviewed or the author.  It was just quote after quote after quote, which can have its advantages, it’s just the Cox showed a different way of doing things.  He quoted less, but spent more time helping his readers to feel like they knew the people and environment.  There was a much stronger journalistic voice present.

Matt, like I have been feeling, remarked that “I'm more attracted to letting the quotes do most of the talking in my story than try to describe things myself; I don't feel particularly confident enough to know how much of my own voice I can inject into a story while still being tasteful and correct.”  How does one know how much of one’s writer’s voice he or she can use and how much must be carefully controlled and hidden?  I think a lot of this is simply that we don’t have enough experience; this is probably partially something that comes in time with practice.  However, I also think that Clark and Scanlon start dealing with this in our next reading assignment, which I discuss on my blog for it. 

Read more on Cox’s profile. 

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