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Sunday, September 23, 2012

SPEAKING WITHOUT A VOICE

My mind is blank today, blank as an artist's canvas with only cloudy grays for a palette. Maybe that's what happens when my body is fighting some kind of sinus infection and my voice disappears.

Ah, there's  subject. My VOICE. And so a writer's secret is revealed. Write rubbish until something clicks. I should delete the previous paragraph except I like the phrase "with only cloudy grays for a palette."

My voice, literally, is like a squeaky toy, to quote the med aide here at the nursing home. A terrible case of laryngitis and a hurting throat. My writing voice is doing okay, as I'm closing in on the final quarter of my book Hidden Dreams.

I have a hard time describing my writer's "voice." The question "who would you compare yourself to?" still stumps me. (Gulp. Have I come far enough for people to start comparing themselves to ME?)

But I have learned a few things about myself in writing this book. One is, I tend to emphasis internal conflict over external, and I resolve those internal conflicts before beginning the more action-packed sequences of the story. Hidden Dreams includes a heroine in danger and a grand chase scene--all in the last quarter of the book. Her hiding place isn't discovered until 3/4s of the way through the book.

Another is, people often speak to my eye for detail. I've developed a theory about that: I research a specific question: what children's picture books were published/popular in the 1920s? Winnie-the-Pooh. I chased the rabbit trail further. Where did "pooh" come from? Further research led to Shakespeare's Hamlet and the Lord High Everything Else from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado. All of those facts add depth to my heroine's character and worked into a fun scene.

I'm also beginning to wonder if I will become more of a New England writer than  Western author. I am working on books 5-7 set in Vermont (an eighth book, Beacon of Love, takes place in another New England state, Rhode Island). Vermont isn't known as a "popular" state the way Texas is, but my Vermont books have been well received. We'll see what doors God opens in the future.

My question to you this week: for those of you who have read my books. Who would you compare me to or how would you describe my writing? For those of you who are writers, what have you learned about your own voice?

**We had TWO WINNERS last week: Dana and Kendra. For a chance to win one of my books, leave a comment answering my question above on today's blog.  I will give away one book for every five comments left (except by me, of course).**

2 comments:

Amy Campbell said...

I have not read any of your books. And I'm not a writer, I'm just a reader.
I love this post! Thanks for sharing.
Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

Brenda Stimely said...

I just discovered your books reading your interview on Penny Zeller's blog. So excited that I've found a new author! Loved reading how through writing you discover things about yourself.