Authentic Voice

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Good Writing Should Have An Authentic Voice. When you read first – rate writing, you feel the presence of the writer. The Writer’s Character and sense of self permeate the writing and project authenticity. This writer, you think knows what he’s talking about and means what he says; you feel that only this particular writer could have written that particular piece – it is stamped with his personality. You are drawn in to this writer’s world and engage with it. Here is an example from Doris Kearns Goodwin’s chronicle of her childhood enchantment with Brooklyn Dodgers:

I listened with both my parents to the final game [before the World Series] which took place on Sunday afternoon at Shibe Park in Philadelphia. The dodgers scored five runs in the third, but by the bottom of the ninth, the Phillies had bounced back to tie the game at seven apiece. I couldn’t sit still. My mouth felt so dry that it hurt but I was afraid to leave the room. “Now you’re learning what it means to be dodger fan,”My father said.

Doris Kearns Goodwin : Wait Until Next Year

You don’t have to be passionate about your subject to project an authentic voice, although it helps. But you can still establish your own voice by referring to personal experience, using colorful examples and trying to make your writing concrete, straightforward and personal rather than abstract and impersonal.

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