Written Identity

Define voice and audience 

Connect the definition to your personal identity in writing.

How do audience and voice fit into the writing process. 

Voice: “a criterion in high-school writing tests” 

individuality in writing 

a construct-artificial: illustrates the multi-facetedness inherent in a singular personality. 

how content is conveyed, a veil, a guise, a filter

why does voice matter? to sound smart when we need to, to be easily understood when we need to, to persuade when necessary. to reflect where we come from

audience: for whom certain content in conveyed in a certain voice. 

acknowledgement of the self along with an acknowledgement of where that self fits in the greater sphere. 

audience as an “active plurality” something that is dynamic. Readers must also be able to identify for whom a work was written for even if it wasn’t them. 

If writing were a canvas, audience would be a paintbrush, and voice the paint. 

“fictionalizing an audience” 

Audience sets the expectation. 


Reading and listening are the same. Both require patience; both require a designated period of time set aside to “take in” what is said. Reading is listening, and listening, reading. When we look to words on a page we see symbols intended to communicate. Behind any form of verbal communication there must be a voice, that is, an individual who “carries out” the communication be that in speaking or writing.

When we speak we do not all sound the same. When we write we do not all sound the same. Of course, etiquette and context are paramount in both speech as well as writing, but our voice will remain the same, our identity will remain the same. When we hear speech we listen to determine the voice’s recognizability, we can determine a mood and state of being, we can even determine someone’s degree of interest on a given topic. These things are received aurally so it would follow in writing and in  reading, the tangible, physical forms of speaking and listening respectively, voice can be ‘heard’ and ‘seen’.

In writing, the voice is paradoxical. It doesn’t seem as though identity could be conveyed through the symbols on a page. Of course, which symbols are on the page, the order in which they appear  and so on may betray their source. When we write we direct our language, when we speak we use specific language as well. When we speak/write in our individual voices we do so directed to specific people. There may not always be a literal “audience” per say, but there will always be some sort expectation as to who might read what’s been written, or, at the very least, who we hope to read what’s been written. Speech is directed, writing is directed. Voice is identity.

Anything that is written is written with some tinge of identity just as anything spoken is tinged with the speaker’s identity. The content, the plot, the ‘gist’, remains the same across different voices although voice and its constituent–perspective may alter the perception of what is conveyed through a given voice. Of course, the voice used in writing is more readily apparent than “voice” in speech, but this is because the intended audience (whether “real” or “fictionalized”) must be identifiable through the written word. I suppose when we read the symbols on a page we have to position ourselves in relation to the perceived audience to be able to comprehend the piece in its entirety. A readership must be able to identify the rhetorical stage for which an author has set his scene.

Reading, writing, voice, audience, it’s all a screenplay.

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