The Sound on the Page: Great Writers Talk About Style and Voice in Writing

Ben Yagoda
Published in 2005
by Harper Perennial

In this instructive book exploring voice and style in writing, journalist and English professor Ben Yagoda offers insights and close readings of the work of renowned writers, as well as interviews, to help writers discover and develop their own writing style. Nine informative chapters look at the theory and practice of style, including “A Field Guide to Style,” “Consistency and Change,” and “Style According to Form.” As Yagoda writes in the introduction of the book, he does not aim to present a how-to manual, but rather an invitation to discuss how “personal style is more democratic than it might first appear” and how to become more aware of one’s voice. “This book began with a single and simple observation: it is frequently the case that writers entertain, move and inspire us less by what they say than by how they say it,” writes Yagoda. “What they say is information and ideas and (in the case of fiction) story and characters. How they say it is style.”