Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Now Hear This…

Hooray, Hooray, it’s Election Day! So, here’s my special public service announcement…

Let your voice be heard.
Well, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s make sure your voice is heard in another way as well.

Yeah – I’m talking about on the page.
Editors and agents will tell you that they’re always on the lookout for new “voices.” And no, they are not referring to the posse of little voices that reside inside their own heads.

They’re talking about new writers who say what they say in a unique sort of way.
Well, that sounds easy enough for us scribblers to do, right?

But here’s the rub –
You can learn grammar. You can learn punctuation. You can learn plot, conflict, suspense, telescoping, flashback, foreshadowing….etc… etc.

Until the cows come home…
from jumping over the moon.

But you can’t learn voice.
Voice is something you must find.

And where do you find it?
In a box?

With a fox?
In the rain?

On a train?
No. No. No. No.

You find it in a thousand pages of scribbles and notes and stories and poems and drafts and revisions –
which is one great reason why NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo are such wonderful challenges.

Because after 30 days of slamming scenes on the page, you’ll probably start to notice that your words no longer sound like they’re fresh from Seuss, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Chuck Norris, or the neighbor’s fat cat.
They’ll sound like they’re coming from you.

And if you listen closely, you might hear something else as well…
Those little voices inside the heads of editors and agents offering up a great BIG little-voice cheer!

They’ll hoot and holler, whoop and rejoice!
For they’ll have found an amazing VOICE!

One that’s fingerprint-snowflake YOU—
And wonderfully, totally,

brand spanking NEW!

PROMPT: Find your voice by exploring those “little voices” inside the heads of your main characters. Are they mostly happy chatter, fuming rants, or basically “Bacon, bacon, bacon”? Hmmm… what if one’s a vegetarian… or has political differences… or wants OUT?

No comments:

Post a Comment