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A good writer has a distinctive voice. A great writer has an inimitable one. Regardless of subject or place in time or space, good and great writers share one trait-they are true to their personalities, spirits, and characters. How do they do this? How can WE do this as teachers and writers? And how can we show our students what crafting an authentic voice entails?
One of our premier writers on the writing process and writing workshop, Tom Romano, tells us. In a compelling and manageable text, he makes the case for giving special time and attention to voice as a means to get students involved and improve their writing, particularly expository writing. Using his own strong voice and trademark narrative style, he teaches by example-his own and his students'-how writers can be true to themselves and vivid on the page to pull readers in and keep them reading.
More than that, Romano is an irresistible motivator to write well. His infectious enthusiasm, intellect, and heart shine through every chapter-from his tempting "antipasto" of stories and poems beginning each section of his book to the delicious courses that follow. He divides his text into small readable parts that consider the "delight and dilemma of voice," the qualities of voice, and the relationship of voice and identity. Many examples indicate ways to "trust the gush." And there are practical ideas here, too-strategies and techniques for immediate use in your teaching and writing.
Read and take heed of Romano. Craft an authentic voice in your own writing. Teach students how they can do the same. Then revel in the candor and insight, the absorbing and entertaining stories, the clear thinking--the good, maybe even great, writing.
Reasons to Read
Qualities of Voice Antipasto: "Poems," Gary Gildner
Qualities of Voice
The Appeal of Narrative
Perception and Surprise
Surprise for Whom?
Humor, Lightness, Play
Trust the Gush Antipasto: Olivia Leads the Way
The Place of Passion
"Outcast," Lorie Barnhart
How Voice Is Lost
The Five-Paragraph You-Know-What
Of Buts and Burrs and Bad Advice
Whatever It Takes: Breaking the Rules in Style
Mischief, Rebellion, Attitude
"It's Alive! It's Alive! It's Alive!"
Wear a Mask, Unleash a Voice
The Generative Power of Parallel Structure
"Who Said That?" David Schuster
Crafting Authentic Voice Antipasto: Squirming, Fretting, and Fraud
Making It Rougher
Hit Dem Senses
What the Ear Knows
Living Leaping Words
Who's Got the Action?
Weeding the Garden
Placement and Payoff
Get Your Pipe and Blow Doughnuts: The Speed of Metaphor
Ingmar Bergman, Janis Joplin, and Howard Cosell: Allusions to Extend Meaning
Behold This Visage: How Speech Helps Writing
In the Beginning
And in the End
Voice and Identity Antipasto: Huck, Holden, and Talya
The Moves in One Piece
A Small Work I Have to Do
Posted January 15, 2005
Romano is a master at explanation! I never realized how many angles there were on the single topic of voice. As a high school English teacher, I found Romano's book to be the most helpful I've ever read on writing. Short chapters keep one's attention and they fit my busy schedule. I highly recommend this book as a 'classroom assistant'.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 16, 2010
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