My Three Tones and The Voice of a Writer by Jesper Werkhoven

A creative voice is something especially unique. It’s why not everyone is in Creative Writing, and it’s how we flaunt our writerly blood over the creatures in Theater, among others. Everyone has their style; just within the Sophomore class, we have a writer who scribes poetry based off of ever-complex familial connection, a writer who infuses the medium with taboos that most wouldn’t touch in order to fully express both themselves and their identity, a writer who crafts mystifying and beautiful mental landscapes, a writer who orates both generally-historical and culturally historical works with conviction, a writer who can birth something vastly interesting from the purest mundanities, and last but not least, a writer who is me! Whether it’s a fantastical battle between a guy and twelve elder gods, or a disastrous future where a slightly better trained guy fights bug-people under the payroll of platypus-people that juice people-people into smoothies for fuel, I’ll write about it as long as it has nothing to do with anything real.

We all have our voices. Burgeoning ones, at least, ready to sprout into something truly unique! However, despite these descriptions, the voice is never one thing. It’s a style, yes, but it’s more like a preference than something concrete. I had to use my most likely limited knowledge of my fellow Sophomores to describe them, and I do not feel like I have done their voices justice. That’s what’s so beautiful about them! What I’ve found most interesting about my personal voice is how it changes, not from piece to piece, but from form to form. Creative Writing 1 tackles Poetry first, then Fiction, then Playwriting, and I’m sure my preference for fiction writing is known far and wide by now. But, unfortunately, I can’t write only fiction all the time, and discovering my voice in the other genres has been highly interesting.

In poetry, mystique and vagueness is king. Not to an absurd, caricaturing level, but generally a sprinkling of subtlety helps rather than hurts. I love to take a more fictional approach, too, describing burdened knights wandering an infinite abyss rather than some dude doing something infinitely less interesting but endlessly more “real.” Poetry’s simple, bite-sized snap writing is refreshing to bite into every now and then, considering my fiction writing generally requires a lot of self-imposed preparation for worldbuilding’s sake (it’s really fun). I even throw in a game reference in the title for fun.

Then with playwriting, I’ve found that I enjoy a comedic approach first and foremost. Back at the very beginning of the 2022 unit, I came up with the idea that would become When a Man Has Nothing, He Will Have R/Atheism, my main piece for the unit. It follows caricatures of an intense debate; religion versus atheism. Is God real, or is he not? Personally, I’m atheist, but zealots are some of my favorite characters. Religious language is very appealing, both phonetically and connotationally. On the other end, the inclusion of very specifically r/atheism in the atheist caricature helped a lot on the comedy side. Their names were chosen accordingly as well; Penrod Weevil not being the best name to take seriously, and Crozarias being a bit over-the-top. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed writing in a grounded setting; not a single elder god, despite a brief hint at Crozarias’s cult that I forgot to develop, or enormous space fleet. Just too crazies arguing with each other… until I revised it, and, with the nudging of the instructor to include an event that they could reacting, put them smack-dab in the middle of a nuclear war, made Crozarias the cause of said war, and then made him and Weevil have an epic duel where they both died at the end. I’m incredibly proud of what it became, and sorely disappointed it was not chosen (a mistake was made). My next one will be a court drama, and the murderer will be called Crawzunga.

Bite-sized, insightful fiction, comedy, and jumbo-sized, less insightful fiction; three tones that make up my personal writing voice. Witnessing and writing about my own creative voice is a lot more enjoyable than hearing my actual voice, and I am beyond excited to grow it into something even more entertaining!

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