RE: Voices and Writing (considering cadence and rhythm)

Subject: RE: Voices and Writing (considering cadence and rhythm)
From: "Sean O'Donoghue-Hayes (EPA)" <Sean.O'Donoghue-Hayes -at- ericsson -dot- com -dot- au>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2001 14:27:14 +1000

Cameron Consulting said:

But not all writers write like they speak. I don't. I use a lot of slang in
my everyday speaking to people (although not when in a professional
environment) and I tend to have a potty mouth when with friends. I suppose
everyone is like this at one time or another though, depending who they are
hanging out with at the time.

> I too "hear" the voices when I read. When it's fiction, I get very
> pictures also, which is why I hate to see a movie if I've read the book.
> actors never sound or look like they did in the book.


and I took far too much time to reply and say.....

voices in our heads......well okay I do have them! They are a suitable
character speaking to me, within me, as I read.

It can actually become annoying when reading, for instance, books based on
television shows. Anyone who has read the "Yes Minister" or "Yes Prime
Minister" series of books, after seeing the show - knows that the words that
maybe bland on the page turn with malice, sarcasm, and extreme wit when
placed in the mouths of the actual characters or the actors who play those
characters so distinctly it is hard to see where one ends and the other
begins. However having the rhythm or cadence of Humphrey (the archetypal
English civil servant/administrator) in your head, and being disturbed
mis-sentence means I find myself now speaking in that rhythm and cadence.

Thus for example, and perhaps best if spoken out loud with the minimum of
breaths taken:

"What? Can I put the bins out? Well if in reference to the disposal of waste
products from our home, which is our house, in so far as a house that is our
home can be called ours when taking into point of fact that the bank
maintains a large interest in said structure in which we inhabit and sleep
and cook our meals, then yes this is our home, which would be only a house
if we had not made it a home by our continued and ongoing habitation and the
emotional sentiment and feeling that we have attached and indeed imbued
these walls with, over the period of time that we have dwelt within these
walls, and once more ignoring the fact, that the bank also imbues these
walls with a sense of proprietary ownership much to our dissatisfaction and
considers our home merely a house on which it has due call to consider one
of its assets that it expects us to pay for in the form of a mortgage, which
first became evident in the reign of Charles the Second, when the Lower
Houses of Parliament ordained, moved or voted that a bank, acting as a
lender, and being the first part in the case of the first item, could loan
to the second part reasonable monies for the purchase of the second item,
being a house, that might through the second parts ownership and time spent
within that structure known as a house, imbue it with the quality's of a
home.....what was your question again???" (reaching that conclusion upon
seeing the ominous and oh most foreboding look on my partner's face....)

When TW-ing my voice loves words to flow, to not only make sense but to be
fluid. Against this my voice listens for to many a
description words to make it flow may add benefit to carry the reader
forward, in a step within a procedure just stating exactly what is to be
done, and no more, is likely to be a clearer way of communicating.

Do my writings beyond TW-ing suffer or improve from my daily work? Only in
that I can see the patterns more readily when I read, and have to decide if
I shall fight those patterns/formulas or embrace them. Because I see them I
guess it improves my ability to manipulate the work. Of course at times I do
sense a little of: "pulling out the sword version 2.3, from left side just
below his belt, the hero strode forward, three steps, paused, press enter,
the villain is displayed."

regards and thanks,
Sean O'Donoghue-Hayes
Sean.O'Donoghue-Hayes -at- ericsson -dot- com -dot- au

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