Where’s My Voice?
- The Mariners started out April well but have fallen apart. I hate when my hopes rise and then are dashed with a six-game losing streak.
- I got on the scale this morning. Looks like I’m down a few pounds finally. Every pound lost can remove seconds per mile during a race. In a longer race those seconds can add up to minutes.
- Started doing some yardwork (for the first time this year) and now my yard looks like a war zone. I’m going to need to reseed half of it. I have a serious mole infestation. I also couldn’t get my power washer or tiller running.
- I’m really loving Brooks’ World War Z. I need to figure out who represents Brooks, because I think my novel is in a similar genre. BTW I did have Zombies on my list of disasters for Dawn’s Rise but they didn’t fit in. I do have them in 30 Days:The Singularity Matrix.
- I discovered I can still run the Seattle Rock’n’Roll Marathon…if I raise $1000 for Cancer. Who’s willing to support me?
I’ve been thinking over the last couple of days about my “writing voice.” Have you ever noticed that when you read things like emails and blogs from people, you can actually hear their voice in your head? It’s like they’re talking to you as you read. My writing voice is kind of like my email/blogging voice. Not super great. Lots of adverbs and adjectives, if/then/but/and/or run-on stuff, and not much description. In fact, during editing I’ve removed a bunch of description as being too “descriptive” and not “active.”
I need to find my literary voice. An agnostic impartial voice that just describes the actions and scenes. People keep telling me about the screenplay model. A screenplay is essentially an instruction kit for a movie: “First actor A says ‘blah blah.’ He walks left. Actor B says ‘blah your own blah’” I need to eliminate anything that’s not active. Note that thinking and feeling are not activities. It’s important to hear the inner monologue sometimes, and that’s really what separates novels from screenplays, but I think I’m not doing it very well. I really think I need to take some literary classes.
I’m left with these issues then:
- How do I set a scene without being expository and inordinately wordy?
- How and when do I introduce all the background material for my book’s universe?
- How do I show what a character is thinking/feeling without just saying it?
Note that these aren’t my only literary deficiencies…but I can only tackle so many at once.