One Writer’s Voice

"Dancing House" Prague

Writers are encouraged to find their voice when writing in any medium, and blogging is no different. We offer the following in toto and with permission from one of our favorite writers, Materurbium. Read and enjoy and we offer a few comments at the end about a writer who we think has found their voice.

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Since probably a year or so ago Czechs needed to apply for a visa and pass a face-to-face interview with someone at the embassy to visit the US. When it was time for my girlfriend’s visa interview, I told her I’d go with her to the US embassy. They wouldn’t let me in the door. No reason. So I went for coffee.

I thought somehow that I would feel a little bit “home” visiting the US embassy. But that’s not really how things work. I’ve been back since and now I’m sure of it.

Everything requires an appointment (sometimes even a password). Police are everywhere outside. Almost no one you meet is actually American. And everyone except the lowly security guard is behind tempered glass.

I know that most of these people are just doing their jobs, but some of them absolutely do not care if they do that job well. So you get a lot of aggressive questioning and a lot of superior attitude and a lot of ‘come back tomorrow’.

I know that one step above my little life there’s a whole other level from which the strings are created and pulled. That’s fine. I know a lot of it’s about security. I know that people are trying to weasel their way into the US and its embassies to do horrible things every day. It’s just that every time I go to the US embassy I wish they understood that I’m a legal taxpaying dude who is just trying to get in and out and back to work. It doesn’t bother me that they think I’m a threat when I walk up to the door – they have to. It’s that once I’m inside and cleared, I ought to be taken care of just a little bit.


 In addition to the content and the opening with a sense of conflict that we await to see resolved, there is some basic grammar at play in these 299 words that makes it easy to read.  The grade level is the 6th grade. People read more comfortably in the range of 5th-to-8th grade. The Flesch Reading Ease level is 76.8. The closer to 100, the better. There are only 9% sentences in the passive voice.  Finally, the writer is forceful but polite.  The verb “to be” is frowned upon in fiction writing but here it is used repeatedly with positive effect because the reader can more easily identify with “ is,” and “are,” etc.

Visit the original here. Add any comments here.


About Bob McCarthy

Originally from the Northeast, I now call Southwest Florida home. I have been a professional copywriter and editor since 1979, both freelance and in house. I have had article published in regional, national and international magazines. Plus, a video for which I wrote the script won an industry award as Best Training Video.
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