By Ken Delpit
Individual voices are fascinating. They reflect uniqueness.They involve specific characteristics and abilities, both physical and mental. In tone and in lyric, they express specific perspectives and emotions. They can be soft; they can be harsh. They can be musical to some, grating to others. They can be up-lifting, but also down-putting. Voices may not define us completely, but they certainly represent us while the rest of us waits backstage.
But voices rarely come just one to a customer. Multiple voices can reside in a single person. This is certainly true for writers. Each fictional character, partially invented and partially native, taps into its writer’s own voice box. Voices within propel writers’ fingers, and shape their stories.
With few exceptions, it is also true that everyone has multiple voices, whether writer or not. Anyone who hides true feelings or conceals real intentions uses a voice convenient for the deceit. Anyone who senses that they could inflict emotional damage may give their real voice the hook, and push a kinder understudy out as stand-in.
United voices can swell the heart. They project multiplied energy.They promote commonality. They express hope and desire in ways that are much greater than the sum of their individual parts. And in a good way, they reduce us. They reduce us to not-so-different beings, with both interests and purposes in common.
Then, too, united voices can be daunting. When assembled spontaneously, they can give birth to future planned gatherings. When unanimous in pain, they can startle us into action. When joined in purpose, they can change societies. When unified in anger, they can erupt in revolution.
Voices. Both calming and rallying. Both music and weapon. Take care of your voice, as you would a fine French horn. Be careful with it, as you would a loaded revolver. And, remember to let it be silent much of the time. Absence of voice can often be the most commanding, and most harmonious, voice in your repertoire.
Hearing voices” is sometimes a sign of losing it. While that may well be true in his case, Ken Delpit clings to the notion that being fascinated by the many voices that surround and lie within us helps with his writing. Ken hopes to promote himself beyond his technical background (computers, mathematics) into credible and imaginative science-fiction novels.
“Voices” was inspired by Baba Yetu, Prompt #583 on The Write Spot Blog.