Wednesday, September 8, 2010

WHO IS SCREAMING AT YOU?

Voice.


Some are loud. Some are quiet. Some are soft, and some like to yell.


Charli likes to yell. I just bite.


But what is voice? Do you have one? Have you found it yet? No? Yes? Well now is not the time to divert your eyes and run around the house trying to chase it!


“Confident writers have the courage to speak plainly; to let their thoughts shine rather than their vocabulary.” Ralph Keyes


How many times have you found yourself in the midst of an idea only to stop and search the thesaurus for another word, something catchy, wordy? I’m guilty, and I bet you are too. Not only does the act halt your thought process it steals your voice. Often we feel compelled to use language that impresses our fellow writers, but why? Is this a-who-has-the-best-words-contest? No. It’s about voice.


YOUR voice, MY voice, the expression on WHO we are on the page.


Voice has to have courage to be original, to not follow the crowd and try to be like the bestsellers. Voice is not worrying about which word one uses, or not, its about the story, about just being YOU as you write. It means listening to your gut, despite the clamoring of other voices telling you to do what you’d rather not. I’m not saying there isn’t merit in advice, of course there is but, in the end, its YOUR story, and only you know how it can be told.


Unbeknownst to my inner storyteller, I’ve been struggling to find my voice since I began the query process. It is here that I feel as though the line between my voice in the query, and the story becomes blurred. I feel as though I lose myself in those few lines.


And I don't like it! Its like trying to capture the ocean in a bottle. There's no way its going to fit. But we try, we MUST! Because we have to allow our voice to shine through, to tempt the reader.


I’ve found my VOICE. Have you found yours? Did you have to find him/her kicking and screaming? Tell us! What are YOUR tricks?




9 comments:

  1. HEY! I DON'T YELL! Great photo. The legbreakers may feel differently. LOL. There is also a t-shirt that reads, "I'm not angry, I'm from Philly."

    Do we have some rep or something? Wink, wink.

    My voice, lordy. Tis hard. You want your characters to sound unique, but you. I think you just type as you hear the conversation or scene play out. Then sit back and read something else. Compare it. The difference between the two will be your voice.

    It takes a while to find it but once you do, you'll know it.

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  2. My voice is named George. <--I found him. He's rude, harsh, and his humor is disturbing. *sigh I like him* I will say that the query I wrote for one of my wip will have to be thrown out and rewritten in my voice. I usually just write a generic one with all the information they want and than use it as a guide to write the "voice" one I send out. :)

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  3. I have no frickin' idea what my voice is. I don't know how I come across on paper. I guess I've never really thought long and hard about the way I 'sound' compared to others. I know I'm contemporary. Maybe crass, and maybe sarcastic? It would be cool if I had an alter ego, but it's just me. Little ole Kris.

    And I do believe I must visit this Philly you keep talking about. Maybe then I could have a REAL Philly cheese steak sandwich.

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  4. Thanks for the comments, lassies! And, yes, Charli does yell, but who doesn't? LOL I find the query makes me tremble with fear. But I'm still learning. Boil my unique voice into a few sentences? I'm working on it.

    J.C. - I try to keep the blurb in my query the same for all, then tailor the rest to the agent. George sounds like me, LOL ask Charli!

    Kris, don't forget, I've been reading your work, what's inside, is YOUR voice! Its unique and unlike anyone else voice. Just don't let too many other voices tell you WHAT you ought to be sounding like!

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  5. I write without worrying too much about this. Usually if something doesn't "sound" right, people mention it to me. Actually I had been writing for years and didn't know what voice was or that I had one until crit partners and people in the industry mentioned it. I still don't know that I have a voice.

    What I do know is that a good writer's voice will hold my attention. When I read a WIP, book, blog, or ms, the first thing I usually connect to is that writer's voice. Will I always like the voice? No. I like to think that a good voice can entice one to read a "how to put together a bookcase" instruction manual from start to finish and still be engrossed. That's my take on voice.

    Ambrielle

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  6. Ambrielle, that is great! If you don't have any trouble, than I'm jumping on your train! :-)

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  7. I do know what my writing voice is (coincidentally, I blogged about that just yesterday!). However every one of my characters, though penned by the same voice, sound different. Voice is something tou mold to each and every ms, so that every time, it sounds unique.

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  8. Yesterday! Well, damn, I'm not too original then, Zee!

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