Welcome back. A quick question-turned-rant for you – Do you watch “The Voice”? I have to confess I do. I love music and I like discovering new artists and the concept beats “Idol” and well… I like the show 🙂
If you’re not interested in the show you can skip a couple of paragraphs down, otherwise, here’s what I got to say before we go further…
Now, I watch it in a day’s delay on NBC.com as I don’t have cables (great way to avoid the “I don’t have time to write” excuse by the way) so no spoilers from you on Tuesday and Wednesday!
I have my favorites. That is… I HAD my favorites…pretty much from the blind auditions stage I had my ears fully dedicated to Amanda Brown, Bryan Keith, Melanie Martinez, Cody Belew and Terry McDermott Each of these could easily be a worthy winner of this season. I also like Nicholas David, but we’ll talk about that more… Now, if you follow the show, you’d notice that out of 5, only 1 made it into the top 4 (Good luck Terry). And here’s where I take issues with you America…
There’s a show and it’s called “The Voice”. You can say it with the emphasis on the word “Voice” or on the word “The”. I always say it – THE Voice. Why? because there are so many singers out there and you don’t put a show on prime time TV to select A voice. You do it to select THE voice.
Now that I made that distinction, What the hell are you thinking??? Voting in a cookie-cutter-sounds-just-like-any-joe-shmoe-Disney-product-line-pretty-bland-Avril-wanna-be like Cassadee Pope and leaving a holly-shit-is-that-woman-real-she-can-sing-anything-and-make-it-better-than-the-original-smiling-as-she-effortlessly-does-it-better-than-that-B^%$h-Christina-who-can-never-give-a-compliment-to-someone-who’s-more-gifted-than-her singer like Amanda Brown out??? Seriously?
Way to go America on voting out the best performer (Cody), The most original artist (Melanie) too…I hope you’re proud 😦
Nicholas David is the only hope left for originality and Terry is amazing. Unfortunately they don’t stand a chance against the vanilla queen and Tervin, who’s a fantastic but limited to his small corner singer.
Now why did I drag you through this long and seemingly unrelated tirade? Well, it’s because writers, like singers have “Voice”. In both cases, the professionals say “You can’t teach voice”.
I agree. But I think that writers as opposed to singer can, and have to develop a voice.
I have a fairly pleasant voice. People tell me that I should work on radio. That’s flattering but I don’t kid myself. I don’t have singing voice people would enjoy. I could go and develop my skill, but as much as I might have wanted, I can’t change my voice. I can learn to use the voice I have a little better, but I can’t make it a better voice.
Now as a writer I feel I have the chance to actually develop a voice that would actually work!
Larry Brooks has this to say about voice:
Less is more. Somewhere between a love letter scripted by a drunken, suicidal poet and the world’s driest technical copy awaits a level of style that suits you.
I can go on and on with links and references, but you have google, right?
I believe the bottom line of this is that writing voice can be improved. It can be developed with intent. It’s not something everyone is born with (God knows I speak from experience), but it’s something that can and should be worked on.
One thing, I believe rings loudest with me is, don’t try to write like anyone else. We know that Grisham has a unique voice. That’s exactly why you want to have a different one. (Don’t be Cassadee Pope, Be Melanie Martinez! :().
Before I go, who’s your favorite voice? What are you doing to improve your own? Let us know.