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Write a scene using these three characters. Use the picture to help you create their “voices.” What are they talking about? What might they say? What do the drawing styles suggest about their voice, vocabulary and sentence structure?. Voice continued. Persona, Character Voice & Point of View.

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Write a scene using these three characters. Use the picture to help you create their “voices.” What are they talking about? What might they say? What do the drawing styles suggest about their voice, vocabulary and sentence structure?

voice continued

Voice continued

Persona, Character Voice & Point of View

first some fun stuff
First some fun stuff
  • Let’s look at two versions of the same song. For some reason I think this illustrates my point about voice better than most covers.
  • Pete Yorn – Strange Condition


  • Morgan Page – Strange Condition

Avoice or mask that an author, speaker, or performer puts on for a particular purpose. It can be a mask adopted by the author, which may be a public manifestation of the author’s self, or a distorted or partial version of that self, or a fictional, historical, or mythological character. The concept of a persona allows us to acknowledge that, just as no written account can tell the whole truth about an event, so no “I” of a poem, essay, or story is exactly the same as the person who writes.

Example: Margaret Atwood Siren’s Song

character voice
Character voice

In ways other than ironic, you may also speak in the persona of a character who is largely or totally unlike you. A character’s voice is a chosen mimicry and is one of the most rewarding devices of imaginative writing, a skill to pursue in order to develop rich characters both in their narratives and in their dialogue. Your voice will never be entirely absent from the voice of the characters you create, but the characters too can be distinct and recognizable


“You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by Mr. Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing. I never seen anybody but lied, one time or another, without it was Aunty Polly—Tom’s Aunt Polly, she is—and Mary, and the Widow Douglas, is all told about in that book—which is mostly a true book, with some stretchers, as I said before.” – Mark Twain, from Huckleberry Finn

another example
Another example
  • From Blake Nelson’s Girl
point of view

Closely allied to the concept of voice is point of view. Point of view as a literary technique is a complex and specific concept, dealing with vantage point and addressing the question: Who is standing whereto watch the scene? The answer

will involve the voice of the teller, the intended listener, and the distance or

closeness of both the action and the diction. An author’s view of the world, as it

is and as it ought to be, will ultimately be revealed by manipulation of the point

of view, but not vice versa.

  • First Person
  • Second Person
  • Third Person
  • Example of Point of View: Tod Goldberg “This is What You Left Behind
your assignment
Your Assignment
  • Write a “persona” poem. Choose anyone you want and write something from their perspective.


  • Choose one of the pieces we read today and write the story from another character’s point of view. For the Tod Goldberg piece, you could choose the wife who left or even Shelby the dog. For Siren’s Song you could choose the sailors.