LISTENING

images_377

This is a skill a lot of us still have to study. How many times do you hear one thing and reply before the speaker is finished? It goes back to learning the basics of being a good conversationalist. Listen. Listen. Listen.
As writers, we will sometimes be asked to read and talk about different writer’s article, manuscript, short story, or poem. This is what we do when we critique. You must be fair, clear, concise, and think before you speak. These words came from the heart and though we might not agree, a gentle answer will help more than the writer. It will also help you, as another writer and reader. Be friendly and look for the good things the writer has to say.
Friends have all kinds of problems. We have friends, who are bubbly all the time, and then those who can only talk about negative feelings. We are not all alike and we have to keep an open mind. Be authentic when talking with different people. We all have problems, but we do not need to share them with everyone. Sometimes, negative feelings and talk bring our spirits down. This is when listening can benefit the person and where you need to stop and think before you speak. Try to be affirmative and not criticize.
Be respectful of another person’s point of view and keep an open mind. It is the various friends who enter our lives that make everything interesting. If you are listening, face to face, look at the person and not around the room. This signals full attention on the other person and lets them see your compassion. If you are on the phone, keep your voice soft and gentle. This shows you are listening.
During our lives, we will run into many different types of communication. All we can do is listen, show respect for the other person, and keep our minds open. I remember a statement from eons ago…We have only one mouth to talk, but we do have two ears to hear.  LISTEN…LISTEN…LISTEN…THEN SPEAK.
Advertisements

USE YOUR VOICE

images_063What? I am a writer. There is no singing in my head, unless on the radio. It is my fingers that do the work as they tap on the keyboard.

NO. Your voice is how you write. The attitude you give your characters. They must come alive and give their attitudes to your readers. Some days, their attitude is fantastic, upbeat, positive. Sometimes their attitude stinks. They seem to stay on edge, waiting for something to happen. They are nasty and ugly. Does this sound familiar? Since we are our characters’ voice, we have our good days and our bad days.

Voice is what your reader hears after you give your character a physical description. Does the voice fit the character? Could you pick your character out in a crowd? Your character takes on a living personality by all the actions you let your character show. The voice must fit these actions.

Give yourself a test. Read a page or two of your current work in progress. Do you feel moved by your characters? Now, go to a newspaper or magazine article. Do you hear or feel the voice? No. The writer or journalist must keep their voice quiet. They must present an impersonal objectivity of their work or article.

Aren’t we writers lucky? We get to make our work personal. Our stories show the emotions of each character on good and bad days. This is your voice and it is you, the writer, making each character sound genuine. When you force a voice, you make the character seem false and can turn the reader away.

Keep passion in your voice as you show your characters in so many different situations. They will love you for this. Then you can relax, enjoy the scenery, and who knows, see a different side of your characters.

HAPPY WRITING.