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Voice recognition for writers: Editor's Notes #220
September 30, 2016
Hello,

The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain.
-- F. Scott Fitzgerald


In this issue:

1. Voice recognition for writers
2. Tickled my funnybone
3. Interesting Web site
4. Writing prompt

1. Voice recognition for writers
When I called my bank last week, I was told that in future, instead of asking me security questions to be sure I'm who I say I am, the bank will use voice recognition. I was already thinking about the topic of voice recognition because a day or two previously, I heard an ideoclast on the radio.

An ideoclast (a word I have found neither in any of my dictionaries nor on the Internet) is someone who studies the voices of individuals.

Hurrah for my bank! And I got some entertainment from the ideoclast's opinions on the US presidential race based on her research into the candidates' speech patterns.

But what I spent most of my time thinking about was how writers can use voices to reveal characters in writing. If you haven't spent much time thinking about this topic, take few minutes to consider any of your characters. Think about the journalist's questions:
When does your character speak? (Always? Only under certain circumstances?)
Where does your character speak? (Is there something in the setting that has an impact on your character's conversations?)
To whom does your character speak?
What topics is your character most likely to speak about?
Why does your character speak? (To rule over others? To ask questions? To lie? To uncover truths?)
How does your character speak? (What specifics would voice recognition software or a ideoclast notice?)

Become your own ideoclast. Examine your writing to see if your characters speak consistently given who they are. Is it easy to confuse them, or do they each stand out?

Many critics believe that Mark Twain was the first writer to successfully use dialect to show character. If you haven't for a while, read one of his books. Take what you notice and use it to hone your own craft.

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2.Tickled my funnybone
Jokes about German sausage are the wurst.

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3. Interesting Web site
For more on writing dialogue...
https://www.autocrit.com/editing/library/writing-dialogue-that-speaks-volumes/

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4. Writing prompt
Take a moment to imagine two characters. Think about their speech. Write a dialogue between them without attributions (she said/he said). Read your dialogue aloud.

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