Even though I have looked at these question off and on for almost 30 years, I find they are making me think in new ways because I am now thinking in terms of picture books and authoring those, rather than thinking of my college students writing research papers, essays, and tests.
Thinking in new ways about anything is a good way to get your brain unstuck. I am glad about that.
While I have not done this before, I am going to write some of my thoughts on these questions, because I just can’t NOT.
I guess these particular questions have got me thinking today in ways the others were trying to move me to think.
Questions and My Answers
(part of) 78. Must the voice in writing be unified and seamless?
No. If the story needs difference, interject difference.
79. What is the relation between voice and silence?
Sometimes, in a story, silence is the gutter from a comic book. It’s the between space where you expect your reader to understand, or your illustrator to show, that time or something else has happened between one page turn and the next.
80. Are voices costumes worn for particular functions and purposes? Are voices like clothes, different clothes appropriate for different occasions? Do tastes concerning voice change? Do we determine by cultural consensus what constitutes acceptable voices in writing?
I definitely think so. I think the answer to all four of these questions is YES. Think about it. Don’t you know of books that used to be read a lot that aren’t read now?
If you are wondering why I say that, think racist, think pedantic, think too high a reading level. I have seen many changes in the cultural consensus over my lifetime. Of course, I may be much older than you are.
Earlier posts on the same topic, but with different questions:
Leggo, Carl. “Questions I Need to Ask Before I Advise My Students to Write in Their Own Voices.” Rhetoric Review 10.1 (Fall 1991): 143-152.