Conversations with my Muse: Voice and Tone in Writing

The following recorded transcript took place in an anonymous chat room this morning. The Nerd’s muse was called away on unexpected business, so they agreed to meet on line to discuss the issue of “voice” and “tone” in writing.

Wordnerd45:             mornin’, all

Sweetboy751:           ((((Nerd))))

FatBastard97:           *rolls eyes*

Wordnerd45:             (((((Sweetboy))) ltns! How are you?

FatBastard97:           What, no hug for me?

Sweetboy751:           Same ol, same ol, Miss Nerdy, you?

Wordnerd45:             oh, sorry.. (fat)

FatBastard97:           not much of a hug, gee thanks

Wordnerd45:             Well, you rolled your eyes at me

Sweetboy751:           Ya FB, you seem a little upset

Sweetboy751:           ???

FatBastard97:           Me? No, just busy

Wordnerd45:             Busy with what?

Sweetboy751:           That reminds me, I’m hungry

BonnieLass:              MORNIN, ALL!!!!

Wordnerd45:             OMG, is that BONNIE???? I haven’t seen you in forever, girl!

FatBastard97:           Yea, Bonnie…me neither – how’s it hangin?

The Muse:                  ‘alo, luvs!

Wordnerd45:             “’alo”? What’s with the accent?

BonnieLass:              Been resting, guys….

FatBastard97:           I imagine so, Bon…hey, muse – I see you’re back *sigh*

The Muse:                  Greetings from Jolly Old England! ‘ugs to me crowd!

Wordnerd45:             ((((((((Muse)))))) How’s it going over there?

Sweetboy751:           brb, gotta go get something to eat

FatBastard97:           I gotta take a piss

Wordnerd45:             charming, fat

BonnieLass:              So, Word, I see you’re writing again…How come?

The Muse:                  Have we met, Bonnie?

Wordnerd45:             Went to an institute this summer, flood gates opened

BonnieLass:              Hiya muse, don’t think we have..Long time friend of the


Sweetboy751:           back with breakfast, will just lurk for now..*lurk mode*

BonnieLass:              Awesome, Word! I remember when you wrote those

children’s books..anything come about with them?

Wordnerd45:             Afraid not, Bon…life got in the way

FatBastard97:           I’m back, who missed me? LOL

The Muse:                  Hey Nerd, what’s the topic today?

Wordnerd45:             Muse: huh?

FatBastard97:           nobody missed me? Hmmmppph!

Sweetboy751:           Hey fat, you might try being a little nicer to the room

BonnieLass:              Do I sense FatBastard is not an adult?

The Muse:                  Today’s topic is “voice” and “tone” in writing.

Wordnerd45:             Fat is definitely not a grown up, Bonnie

FatBastard97:           Yea I am

The Muse:                  Nerd, I’ve got a little bit of time before afternoon tea…wanna try now?

Sweetboy751:           Hey fat, if you are an adult, you might try acting like one
then, huh?

BonnieLass:              Uh oh, children – behave

Wordnerd45:             Wow, It’s getting kinda nasty in here…I might be better off leaving

The Muse:                  But we haven’t had our chat today, Nerd?

Sweetboy751:           Ooh, I hear a truck approaching…might need to go bark at it

FatBastard97:           Yea, you go do that…It’s not as if I’m not annoyed enough with you so far this morning

BonnieLass:              Well, well, things seem a little tense around the house, Nerd

The Muse:                  Would this conversation be better on another day, Nerd?

FatBastard97:           Announcement: I’m working on hacking up another
hairball….Anybody care?

Wordnerd45:             We might have to do that, Muse…Seems all hell is breaking loose here. It’s garbage day

The Muse:                  Well then, I’ll let you go…

Wordnerd45:             (((((Muse, Sweetboy, FatBastard, Bonnie)))

BonnieLass:              (((((((NERD)))) Nice seeing you again, Nerd….thanks for
being such a great mom to me all those years ago

Wordnerd45:             Thanks for being such a great first dog, Bon…We miss you around here!

FatBastard97:           Later, bitch

Sweetboy751:           Hey sis, want me to bite Fat?

BonnieLass:              LOL, no – not necessary…We never got along in the first
place, nothing’s about to change now

Wordnerd45:             Hey, hey, hey, check the attitudes, guys…We all have to live together, ya know?

FatBastard97:  Yea, whatever.

Sweetboy751:     I really think I should bite him.


12 Responses to Conversations with my Muse: Voice and Tone in Writing

  1. Yanno, I really enjoy reading your writings. They provide a momentary reprieve in my hectic life (honestly…they make me smile and escape for a bit). In addition to the reprieve, I can read the comments and learn something! (refraining from a “Roger Mind Scream” comment here!

    • wordnerd45 says:

      Wow, if they provide you with a reprieve, then I’m happy to hear that! I like to go back and read them later, only to get my brain going into some sort of “looping” process where I ask myself all over again, “WHAT was I thinking?”

      I love how the brain works — it never ceases to amaze me.

      The Nerd

      • Bill Reed says:

        What intrigues the most is when the brain doesn’t work … you spectacularly logical failures. (Kurt Godel, who has been called the greatest logician since Aristotle ans was a friend of Einsteins, died from starvation because of his “logical belief” that people were trying to poison him.)

      • wordnerd45 says:

        Well, there’s a fine line between sanity and insanity. LOL. I don’t know who Godel was, but I imagine his brain jumped the track somewhere between the coasts.

        I often wonder what it must have been like to be the teacher of some of these amazing people. Imagine having Einstein in your “Introduction to Physics Class: 101”? He’s sitting at the back of the room, probably thinking to himself “Huh, this is SOOOO boring…”

        Or trying to teach Mozart how to read scales.

        Or Michaelangelo what the primary colors are.

        We would have lost them at “Hello, I’m your teacher…”

        The Nerd

      • wordnerd45 says:

        Mmm, you just gave me a great idea for another series of dialogue…..Thanks!

  2. Bill Reed says:

    Oh, I get it … a pedagogical device. Actually Greggory Bateson used to do something similar with philosophical concepts; he would write a dialog between him and his daughter, Catherine, and each diolog was supposed to be an example of the concept he was writing about. He called these “Metalogs.” BTW, I was contemplating writing a dialog with myself, kind of a “who is this guy,” and before I could get started your dialogs showed up and I didn’t want to seem to be copying. That’s me: “A`day late and a dollor short.” 😉

    • wordnerd45 says:

      Bill: by all means, PLEASE pursue that dialogue of yours, without concern over whether or not you are “copying” my technique. I certainly don’t see it that way. Writing, and learning to write, is about giving ourselves permission to try new angles, approaches and ideas. I often borrow ideas and change the “container” they are in, bringing new breath to old stuff.

      Never, EVER, feel like you’re copying, unless you flat out are. And I trust you wouldn’t do something like that.

      The Nerd

      • Bill Reed says:

        Actually I am kind of busy with a project called “Breif Thoughts” right now. It consists of one sentence and I haope says something, but with a sense of humor. I am trying to get my sense of humor in good order. 🙂

      • wordnerd45 says:

        Ah!!!! “Brief Thoughts” — believe it or not there is a term for that too. It’s called a 6-word memoir. Beginning, middle and end all in 6 words. A difficult thing to do at times, but it definitively tunes your writing techniques. Try it with the TShirt slogans!

    • wordnerd45 says:

      Ah, “metalogs”. I like that — “meta” is the internal dialogue or thought process we humans undergo as we try to learn new information. There is a term I remember learning about in teaching school “Metacognition” (I think?) that is basically, “thinking about our thinking”. Real higher order stuff. It’s what effective teachers will teach their children to learn.

      The Nerd

    • wordnerd45 says:


      This one takes some explaining if you haven’t been following/reading my blogs. First, I have conversations with my muse on a daily basis, usually about writing issues (language, tone, voice, creativity, inspiration, content, etc). So, read the conversation posts so you can get a feel for who I am talking to.

      Second, the “characters” in this chatroom conversation are really: me, my muse, my cat (Fat Bastard), my dog (Sweetboy) and my beloved dead dog, Bonnie.

      Third, this all takes place in my head. For obvious reasons, I can’t logically or realistically have a conversation with others who don’t have the powers of speech.

      Finally, if you look closely enough, you will see that the entire conversation IS a lesson in voice/tone in writing. The irony is that I “want” to talk about writing with voice/tone, but I’m actually doing it instead” Does that help?

      I have some bloggers who read these conversations on a regular basis. They’re probably reading this too right now, going “Whoa, The Nerd done flipped her lid”.

      I really am sane, and this really does make sense. Hang in, the mud will start to clear.

      The Nerd

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