Now don’t get
too excited and think this is going to be an intellectual masterpiece where you
walk away stuffed full of new knowledge.
It’s me talking here and I know nothing except I have become almost
obsessive these days reading articles from all sorts of sources. When I see something I like I usually file it
away and then something will jog my memory and I will go in search of it like I
have done with this one. When I do this
I find it is because something about my writing is bothering me. In this case it is the narrative voice as I
find I get so caught up with my characters that I cross borders losing the
value of the point of view. I mean I let everyone have a say. Do I know the difference? Of course I do. Does it keep me from messing up? Of course it doesn’t!
points of view I found myself rereading this particular article where Marianne
de Pierres was interviewed by Writing Queensland. She has the following to say about not only
the voice but also maintaining it:
“If the author is writing a story, telling it through
the eyes of a protagonist /character with whom they are comfortable then the
whole question of author voice/character voice/narrative voice becomes seamless
and powerful.” To maintain the voice she adds we need to “make sure that you
truly identify whose voice you are using to tell story.”
Everything always sounds so simple to me when I read
these articles but heavens above it is so difficult to remember when writing.
What actually annoys me is that from one thing I am reading I get caught up
wanting to know other things. For
instance what about that voice if say,
you want to change genres, and branch out into something completely different? I fell into the romance genre because I am a
romantic but I have some other ideas I would like to try out. Do I need to alter anything?
Her answer was most enlightening. Firstly we need to immerse ourselves in that
new genre so we notice the rules and flow. She suggests reading. I love that
idea and it makes sense. Marianne feels that “different genres lend themselves
to different tones.” To me in fact it
clarifies a lot and in reading in that particular genre and seeing examples
things I thought difficult become more accessible. A genre reflects a certain atmosphere, a step
into a certain world so of course we need something to help us define this. The tone can be light, casual, and easy to
engage with or Marianne tells us that if she is “writing dark fantasy” she is “
inclined to use more exotic language” and believes that in the “far future
science fiction, and epic fantasy, writers often create neologisms to add
flavour and help them build a tone of “alien” or “other-worldliness.” In reading
this article and in using her words to explain I am somehow understanding more and
more of what she means.
It really all comes down to the POV and knowing your
characters well enough to use their voice distinctively. In my second book “Unexpected Passion” I have
struggled with this. I feel like a split
personality as I veer to my first novel’s Lia, then my own voice and somewhere
in between I allow Alexi, the supposed star of this novel to be heard. This worries me a great deal because when
reading Marianne she made an excellent point:
“The moment that voice becomes
solely yours (the author’s) and not the character’s, you lose your grip on the
story and in some cases the narrative drive or momentum that comes with that
I am struggling a little to go further with the second
novel because I am battling Lia who wants to lead much like someone would in a
ballroom class. Hey, I do know ballroom
and she isn’t taking the lead from me, I’m the author. The trouble is that two strong leads means
nobody goes anywhere and then we have Alexi yelling for us to get out of her
way and learn some dance floor etiquette.
Can someone please change the music as this waltz is out of control? Lia needs to go sit down. She has had the chance in the limelight and now
she needs to leave me and Alexi to battle it out. A series is always hard
because there is a real danger that the new leads sound much like the old
ones. I guess it is that fear that lead
me back to an article in the past that makes me think about the work in the present.
Somebody out there tell me if it is better to write and know nothing about writing than it is
to know about features (tone, voice and let’s stop at these two as I am
confused enough already) needed? Come on
someone talk to me and while you are at it can you tell me to stop reading
these articles so I don't get all crazy and just write. Want more? Click on this link:http://www.writingqueensland.com.au/marianne-de-pierres-on-narrative-voice/
A piu presto
P.S. I think it would help enormously if
Townsville wasn’t so far from Brisbane and the Queensland Writers Centre so I
could go to all their workshops. I am
thinking of starting a petition begging for them to come more often.
P.P.S Have a look at this
beautiful word. I admit it! I guessed
what it meant from the context but had to look it up just in case. Isn’t it a great word to throw around?
Neologism: the name for a relatively new or isolated term,
word, or phrase that may be in the process of entering common use, but that has
not yet been accepted into mainstream language. Neologisms are often directly
attributable to a specific person, publication, period, or event.