Monday, August 24, 2009

Voices, voices

Hi everyone,

I have been attending a fabulous workshop online with Linnea Sinclair, who is about 47 different flavors of awesomeness. While the workshop is about characterization, we kept getting off topic and talking about voice.

I discovered something in my years of doing this. You've got to write something that fits your voice. You can't make your voice fit something just because you want to write it.

I knew paranormal romance was for me, but for a long time, I kept trying to give my stories historical settings. What did I discover? I do not have a historical voice. I can't even go to the Renaissance Faire and call the porta-potties "privies." I just can't do it. If someone comes up to me and asks, "Prithee, lady, would you by chance know in what direction I might find a toad in a hole?" I'm going to answer, "Um, yeah. I think they're over by the turkey legs."

How's that for authentic?

As soon as I took my knack for lush and fantastic settings and applied it to otherworldly settings, everything clicked.

So here it is, a list of famous authors, and what they should, or should not write according to their voice.

#1 Herman Melville writes YA. Call me McKenzie. Upon September of the year nine and two thousand, I decided to embark, being of poor circumstance, upon a journey on the bus to the local high school... Four hundred thousand words, and at least three chapters of detailing the process by which the lunch lady fixes and serves the food in the cafeteria, we might get to the story.

#2 John Steinbeck writes a suspense thriller. I'd attempt to mock this, but I seriously can't even begin to go there. Can you imagine Cannery Row with a serial killer?

And,

#3 Mother Goose writes women's fiction. I don't think Old Mother Hubbard. counts.

Jess

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