Yes, I hear voices and they aren't from dead people. But I'm not the only person who hears them. Every author in blank-pagedom hears them. They wake us from the most comfortable slumber. They speak to us when other people are speaking to us. Yes, they are rude little voices. And irritating, at times.
Our characters have a way of birthing themselves. And these aren't normal births where the newborn starts out at 8 lbs., 2 ounces and 19 inches long or even start as embryos in our wombs. Most time, we're birthing adults, the elderly, and even some speaking from the grave. Damn, I know I said the voices weren't from dead people. Guess I lied. They're coming into existences as bratty-ass teens, snot nosed toddlers...hell, they're even drug addicts and prostitutes.
The only thing we can do to stop these voices from overtaking us is to write them, the way they want to be written. But here's the trick....you have to also incorporate your own voice in what you write. Since these voices aren't about you, have nothing to do with you, and only want to use you, you better learn how to speak up for yourself and say, "This is how I will write about you." You have to come to terms that you'll have some dick-head in your story that you may not like. Or some whiny-ass woman who grates at your jugular. But you also have to find a happy medium between their voices and yours. A lot of writers make this mistake. Let's see if I can explain it.
When your characters speak (read: dialogue). It's their time to shine. But every other place in the work-in-progress is all about the writer's voice. Sure, you'll have to paint pictures of what your character is doing and how they're feeling, but this is where your voice comes in. This is where you make your mark. The voices you constantly hear know nothing about using too many adjectives and adverbs. They don't know when modifiers dangle... It's how you handle the in-between what they do know...
I'm still finding my voice so the only thing I can say to help you along is continuing writing how you write to find your own. What I know is you can't let your characters write your whole book for you. Don't depend on them for everything.
So what do you have to say about character's voices vs. writer's voices ?
Stay tuned for The Write Way #4 Tell me what you want, Gina, dayum!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Avoid the lines. VOTE early!!