“Voice” refers, in the writing world, to the style in which you write. A casual voice reads much the same as a conversation would sound. In contrast, a didactic or “teaching” writing voice reads much the same as a classroom lecture would sound. A technical writing voice reads in a fashion similar to a computer would present vocal instructions. There are many other voices and styles of writing, as well.
Writing in a casual style or voice is particularly appropriate for the Internet. Blogs and other sorts of websites provide opportunities for individuals to communicate with one another, to share interests, and to have common experiences. As such, most blogs are written in a casual style.
Writing in a casual style or voice is also appropriate in personal letters or personal e-mails. When you’re communicating with a friend you can drop professional or formal conventions. On the other hand, a casual style or voice is not appropriate for business letters or business e-mails.
Here are some of the defining characteristics of a casual writing style:
* A casual writing style is often written in the first person. The writer will refer to himself or herself as “I” or “me.”
* A casual writing style often addresses the reader as “you,” or by an individual’s name. More formal sorts of writing would use phrases like “a person” rather than the word “you.”
* A casual writing style may use relaxed grammatical, spelling, and punctuation rules. Writing LOL, for example, is completely appropriate in a casual writing style. The intended audience of a casual writing style, in theory, is less concerned with grammatical conventions than the message the writing is conveying.
* Writing in a casual style doesn’t mean you can be lazy when it comes to grammatical, spelling and punctuation rules, however. You still need to be adept enough at these things so as to be able to communicate that message.
* A casual writing style is generally applied to personal thoughts, feelings, issues, or stories.
Understanding and developing your casual style of writing can greatly improve your letter, e-mail and blog writing activities. Understanding when not to use a casual style of writing can greatly improve those other sorts of writing that you may do.