Style Versus Voice

I’m struggling to define the difference between style and voice in writing. I’m developing the idea that style is something like format (you can write with a technical style or a conversational style, for example), and voice is something inherent in your writing that is harder to define: it’s what makes your writing sound like you. But I still wasn’t happy with that explanation, so I threw the question out to my Twitter followers. As usual, they came up with some great insights:

  • celestine90 isn’t voice the idea that the work has personal flavor? Sounds unique to the writer? Style is formality and sentence structure?
    devinganger style = architecture, voice = decoration (to use a metaphor). (And style guide = local builder’s code)
    EllenSka Thaisa Frank says style can be copied, but voice cannot. (Voice is what’s missing when one writes “like” someone else.)
    Podchef style is what kind of words are used. Voice is how those words are used. no?
    jameswest Quick and dirty defs: Voice is having something (worthwhile) to write. Style is how you say it.
    RalphGravesl Style provides the general structure and form; voice is the words or phrases chosen within that form.
    RalphGraves Or, style is the coloring book picture, voice is the choice of crayons used (even if you stay in the lines).
    GlennWith2Ns My opinion: 1 is extrinsic & the other intrinsic. Like in dance, 1 is more for the while the otheris personal identity & character

What do you think? Add your comments below.

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