|Flickr Credit: duncan c|
You’ll also notice I use smileys a lot. :D and XD are my favorites, but :) and :( and 8D tend to show up a lot as well.
And, I believe it was Alyssa who pointed out to me when reviewing my novel for me, I like to use ALL CAPS and punctuate. deliberately. in my dialogue and narration to emphasize what I’m saying, and it doesn’t really work.
In essence, I tend to write the way I speak and think, which you’re witnessing even as you read this. Up in the first paragraph I say, “not like, ten in a row” which could have easily been written as “not ten in a row” and conveyed the same idea—minus the fact that I would not have been in that sentence. Well, maybe.
Here’s the thing.
My social life has more or less existed solely as the progeny of the Internet since about sixth grade. My best friend and I live within hiking distance, so she has been my staple to real life in that time frame (unless she’s at college, in which case hiking would suck). However, my closest friends tend to be in other states, or even countries. For quite a while, I was the admin of a forum where we all chatted about anything and everything—in our first summer we posted 35,474 times, surpassing the post count of every other forum using that host!
Posting 35,474 times, you’ll realize that we talked. A lot. Whether we used an IRC chatroom or simply used the forum, we talked and talked and talked. And the thing is, as fun as it is to have friends who live all around the world, when you’re using text to talk, you aren’t going to have the same range of communication that your voice does. So we compensated. ALL CAPS and font size and exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!! and :D >) >:) all conveyed what we couldn’t with our faces and mouths.
We thereby came up with our own styles. I, almighty HeroineHiding, was the safety and grammar police, and heaven help you if you didn’t capitalize my H’s. Klaus-Lucian became known for his elegance and mystique. Lucian garnered friendships out the wazoo and flew the flag of attitude over her head. GNOletsgo1 had her musicals, kimchikid his humor, Fanta her wit, Stella her enthusiasm, BookWorm_39 her friendship and kindness. And there are like, fourteen more people I’m forgetting, but the point nonetheless remains: we’re friends because we could communicate.
And sure, now we have Skype and we can meet each other in real life, but the methodology is still a big part of me.
It’s why I write my blog posts the way I think and talk—this is my voice. It’s the voice I yell! with when I’m screaming with my best friends, the voice I whisper with when I’m ashamed. It’s the voice I use to hurt, to help, to share, to save. MY FANGIRLING VOICE. My angry voice.
It’s just how I talk.
It doesn’t fly in novels. And I clean it up when I’m writing blog posts. Again, this isn’t exactly conversation. But, I’m still here, still writing, still using that voice.
Where did your voice come from? Who helped nurture it. Why do you use it? And, what’s your favorite part about the way you speak on the Internet?
(P.S. To all the AIers—thanks for the voice and the friendship. That awkward moment when the person above you died of the associated word game. ;) )