The Heart and Soul of Writing
• Voice is the writer’s personality and
individuality, translated to the page.
• It is also enthusiasm, energy,
curiosity, and commitment.
• Voice shows that a writer cares about
his/her audience and topic.
• All good writing, not just fiction, has a
distinct voice to it. Voice is often
based on the point of view of the
person writing the essay or story, and
it reflects a particular set of attitudes
that allow readers to hear the words
spoken in their heads in a specific
By looking at the voice of other
authors you can…
• Experiment with voice in your
• See how your favorite authors
distinguish themselves through
their use of voice.
• Discover how grammatical
choices characterize an
Voice in Narrative Writing
• Honesty produces strong voice in writing, but
by honesty we don’t mean factual accuracy.
Honesty in narrative is about creating
characters who are true to human nature.
• Because student writing sometimes lacks
voice your first task in exploring voice will ask
you to “play” with the voices of four
characters in a scene.
A Rip in the Pants
A student in Grade 5 has had his/her
pants/shorts/skirt/dress/capris ripped. You
need to recall this event from the point of
• The student (who has pants ripped)
• The teacher
• The principal
• Another student who sees/hears of the incident.
Write in first person as you are the voice for each of
these four people.
Decisions you need to make:
• How do the pants get ripped?
• What happens after the ripping that
makes the teacher and principal get
involved as well as the other student,
unless the other student was involved in
***Remember to consider how students in
Grade 5 speak, how teachers speak and
how a principal would speak/react. You
will need to focus on word choice and
sentence fluency to project the
appropriate tone in your writing.