Fluffy pink elephants with shiny toenails, it's Monday already. And I didn't post on Friday. Oi.
Anyone got a spare vial of Organisation they want to loan me? No? Pity.
First up today, thank you to everyone who's asked (very interesting) questions! If you haven't asked a question yet, take the opportunity now to head down to last week's post and ask me a question. I'll answer them all on Friday :)
Today, a revisitation to the concept of voice. If you don't follow Liana Brooks's blog(and you should!), you might have missed this awesome article on voicethat she linked to. It's by a food blogger, not a writer, but it's still pertinent - and more, the advice it gives, I'd just done the day before I read it!
Confused yet? *grin*
The advice that Garrett gives is to get someone else to analyse your voice for you. And oddly enough, that's exactly what I'd done the day before I read the post.
Voice is a tricky thing, and it's often hard to pinpoint what your own voice is. On the other hand, it's pretty easy to recognise other people's voices. I can pick up anything by any of my writer friends on Critique Circle and know right away who's written it.
One tends to be sparse on description. She abuses commas horrendously, the genre's either sci fi or smart alec fantasy, and the characters are all cool-headed and logical. Everything's a puzzle to be solved.
Another I can tell because everything is tinged with darkness; there are descriptions that range from lush to sparse, but underneath it all there's always the sense that something is just about to go wrong. Her characters are usually emotionally torn, often abused, dwelling in the grey spaces between life and death, good and evil - and fighting back against the world to protect themselves or those they love.
A third I can tell right away because of the sheer awesomeness of the world building, the slow, meandering narrative, and the melodramatic, snarky wit of the main characters. Her characters have
So what about me? How do people know they're reading my work?
Well, I've only asked one person so far, so it's not exactly widely research. If you're a reasonably regular reader of my writing, feel free to comment on what you think my voice is like in the comments ;)
But according to the one reader I questioned, this is how she knows she's reading me:
"Your characters tend to be softies. They're people that look like easy marks and push-overs, but wind up having a core of steel. The humor tends to be present but light; cheerful. The darkness in most of your work is either very sad or comical; your books are the kind that don't make readers reach for brain bleach, snap at people, or feel worse after reading."
*grin* I don't know about you, but I'm pretty happy with that as an analysis of my work at present. And it's true: I can't write a depressing ending to save my life. Nor do I want to, really. I like to read books that make me feel like they were worth reading, tha I've learned something important from the process, and that my life will be better and enriched because of it. For me, books with depressing endings don't meet any of these criteria, so it's little wonder I don't write them.
So, now it's your turn! You have options: Either hunt down someone to give a quick paragraph comment on what they think your voice is, and post it in the comments here, OR if you've read some of my work, you can comment on my voice.
But it's quite surprising how much you learn about your writing from this exercising - trying to characterise others' voices equally as much as getting them to characterise yours.
So, what's your voice sound like?