A3Writer: Sublimating Personality
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Monday, December 31, 2012

Sublimating Personality


Voice is one of these hard things to really define. It generally follows a “we know it when it’s there, and know when it’s not there. It’s very hard for a writer to not recognize at least some of his own voice in what he writes.
For one assignment in grad school I was attempting to write my own version of the introduction to Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire. I remember the feeling I got as I was writing it, I felt like I was nailing the style and prose. When I finished I printed it out and proofed it as I walked to the campus.
What astonished me most was that I couldn’t see myself in the writing. I had used such a different style, such a different voice, that I was no longer the author. I felt like I was coming at this writing, my own piece of writing not two hours old!, as someone to a fresh book. It was as close to an out-of-body experience as I’ve come.
That was the experience that really taught me what voice was, and marked a significant advancement in my abilities as a writer.

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