The Special 1%


'Voice' describes the ability to say something, using your own distinct style. It's about finding an audience. It's about speaking out. This week on Writers Bloc, we're sharing a short series around the idea of 'voice' in writing. Today's post comes from Melbourne-based screenwriter Tim Williams.


 
   

The Emergence of the Magestic Rat, or, Exercises in Finding My Voice

'Voice' describes the ability to say something, using your own distinct style. It's about finding an audience. It's about speaking out. This week on Writers Bloc, we're sharing a short series around the idea of 'voice' in writing.


'Writer’s voice? Never thought about it before. I suppose I just want it to be as close to Neil Gaiman or Stephen Fry’s as possible.'

That’s what I would have said if you’d asked me about writer’s voice when I first started writing.

A few years later I was slightly less naive. I’d read books about writing and now I felt I knew everything: one day I was going to discover my writer’s voice like a majestic rat materialising from behind the sink. And at that moment of joyous discovery, everything would be sparkly and right with the world.

On the 28th of November 2013 I gave myself a challenge. I would write a story every day for a year, using inspiration from strangers online. 46,102 words later I had reached my goal.

I had written anywhere, on anything, and with anyone I could. The experience had been frustrating, exhausting and the best thing I had ever done.


 
   

How to Give a Great Reading

'Voice' describes the ability to say something, using your own distinct style. It's about finding an audience. It's about speaking out. This week on Writers Bloc, we're sharing a short series around the idea of 'voice' in writing.

 


Writers are asked to read their work at all kinds of events, but nobody really teaches us how to do this. In the video below, Felix Nobis provides some starting pointers for our Building Blocs collection.


 
   

Inkshares 'Ideas'

For the last week on Writers Bloc, we've been publishing a short series around the theme of 'Ideas'. Today we wrap this series up with a 'What's My Scene?' post from Inkshares, a small crowdfunded publisher.


 


 
   

Looking for ideas in all the wrong places

This week on Writers Bloc, we're publishing a short series around the theme of 'Ideas'. Today's post comes from Sarah Jansen.



Image source: Flickr CC / vestman

So often in interviews and during question time at literary events, writers are asked where they get their ideas. It’s one of the constants of being a storyteller. There are books on it, talks and lectures, blog posts and articles, discussion panels and courses.

Coming up with ideas is clearly a huge source of anxiety for people who want to write. All writers have been asked the question, and everyone seems to have a different answer.


 
   

Thinking Outside

This week on Writers Bloc, we're publishing a short series around the theme of 'Ideas'. Today's post is from Lena Tuck.



Image source: Flickr CC / annais


 
   

Running: The Non-Thinker's Exercise

This week on Writers Bloc, we're publishing a short series on the theme of 'Ideas'. Today's post comes from running writer Sam Ryan.



Image source: Fllckr CC / petertandlund


 
   

What I Write About When I'm 'Not Writing'

This week on Writers Bloc, we're publishing a short series around the theme of 'ideas'. This post comes from Sian Campbell.



Image source: Flickr CC / wesley_lelieveld


 
   

Failing Better

This week, we're bringing you a mini-series on 'balance', which we think is a central concept for sustainable writing practice. Today's post from Ryan O'Neill considers how failure can be constructive, and essential to finding balance.



Image source: Flickr CC / amboo213

I don’t know whether being a short story writer has given me any special insight into failure, but it has certainly made me comfortable with the idea. A novelist can go years without having a rejection, simply because it takes longer to write a novel. But a short story writer can easily have one or two rejections every week, and once the first fifty or sixty are out of the way, they become easier to face. That’s not to say though that rejection and failure are the same thing. I consider some stories I’ve had published to be failures because they didn’t turn out the way I had hoped, while a couple of stories that have been rejected everywhere I think of as successes because I accomplished what I set out to do with them. For me, being a writer is intimately associated with the idea of failure. I’ve always been a little suspicious of writers who seem very happy with their work, or who consider it entirely successful, though perhaps it isn’t suspicion at all; perhaps it’s envy.


 
   

Writing About Taylor Swift Ruined My Friendship!

This week, we're bringing you a mini-series on 'balance', which is an idea that we think is central to a sustainable writing practice. Today's post from Scarlett Harris looks at the need for balance in personal writing.



Image source: Flickr CC / anyvanille

A few years ago I got burned writing about people close to me. I chose to publish a blog post about Taylor Swift and her damaging notions of femininity and love. Perhaps ill advisedly, I used an example from my friend’s love life, without her consent, to illustrate my point.

This friend has a soft spot for Taylor Swift and I believed her tendency towards buying into the Swiftian “fairytale” romance hype informed her actions when she started hooking up with my roommate. When their courtship fizzled out a short time later, she revealed to me that because they were friends first, she didn’t feel that as lovers their relationship was any different: where were all the grand gestures on his part, she wondered?


 
   

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