Friday, January 06, 2006
Darn. When I thought about my blog a couple hours ago, I had a topic in mind. Now, sitting at the computer staring at the blog screen...completely blank. Just a good ol case of scatter brain compounded by the start of a sinus headache. By the time I'm old enough to be really forgetful, I'll be a wreck.
Now lets have my blog evolve a topic - we had a discussion about voice yesterday that struck me as interesting. With my partial going out, the playground has been in a flurry of editing activity helping me prepare. One playfriend said after reading the first couple chapters - "I don't hear Alex's voice here." I guess my reputation for dry, sarcastic wit is such that people expect it to be there. So, my task, if I choose to accept it, is to find a way to pump up my voice without being inappropriate. How do I work my funny outlook on life into a story that isn't really funny?? My heroines and other female characters usually have a touch of "smarty pants" in them that gives words to my attitude and the cadence of my dialog is usually a little different - bantering at times. I've been building up their internal dialog and going through the crazy and sometimes silly thoughts that can creep into a characters mind (I don't like peas!). It's proving a challenge, but later critiques have not mentioned this problem, so hopefully I've figured out the balance.
When I went to Reno this summer, I don't know how many editors or agents said they were looking for a "fresh, new voice." A writer didn't need to reinvent the wheel - they could tell the good ol' secret baby or mistaken identity story - they just had to tell it with the mysterious "fresh, new voice." It seemed to be the theme of every session I attended. So yesterday when the subject of voice came up, it made me wonder. I had sat in sessions in Reno pondering my "voice" at several opportunities. What exactly WAS my voice? Is my voice fresh? Is it new? Am I doing my own thing or trying to mimic the tone of published books before me?
I guess I really wasn't able to put a finger on it until yesterday when Angel pointed it out. My voice is sassy, funny, dry, witty. It was what she expected to come out of me because that's constantly coming out of me when I'm not writing. Maybe now that I can more readily identify "my" voice, it will flow easier, with me not forcing my dog to walk when it wants to sniff. I will never write flowing romantic prose with phrases like "glowing tuminescence" and "her secret molten core." I cannot force my dog down that road. It will, however, trot easily beside me as we jog down Sarcastic Trail.
Is my voice fresh and new? That remains to be seen. Now that the world of voice seems to be opening up to me, I'm anxious to learn more about what makes everyone's writing different. How about you? What kind of voice do you project with your writing? What about your style is uniquely "you?" Have you ever had someone comment on your voice?
Posted by Andrea Laurence AKA Smarty Pants at 1/06/2006 12:09:00 AM