Elements of the Writing Craft. Part One, Lesson Twelve: Story Inside Story

Ref: Pages 18 and 19 of the text by Robert Olmstead.

  1. Make a list of ten phrases that describe a voice. 

Her voice creaked like old wood.

His voice was rough and deep

Her voice soft, barely a whisper

His voice boomed over the crowd

Her voice rang out clear and strong

He croaked out a laugh

Her voice like a song

His voice trembled and cracked

Her voice sharpened, rising a register

His voice low and resonant.

2. Use questions to move into your story. Choose one of the phrases and add three questions to move into your story.

Her voice like a song. Whose voice is this? What song? What secrets?

3. Now begin your interior story, and once inside, understand you have a new storyteller.

He started his story as he shook pebbles from his boot. His voice was rough and deep. Whose voice? What story? Why should it demand attention? 

In the cool autumn morning, the fog drifted low across the bogs, the bullfrogs croaked their greeting to light sifting through clouds, began the old fisherman. When I heard her voice, the song bent my ear and held me fast. I could nary take a step ‘till she finished. I’ve never heard a sound so sweet, all these years later, my ears hunger for it still.

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