Monday, 16 February 2009

Experiment for myself.

So here's what I've been doing. 

Obsessing over voice. 

I feel like that is the hardest part to get down, really. And I find that third person voice (close third person) the most difficult of all. And of course that's the one I want to write in. 

So I'm going to make a list of books that *I* feel show outstanding voice. (Most of these books are much re-read by yours truly, but are listed in no order.) :::

- Summer of the Monkeys (1st) 
- Catcher in the Rye (1st)
- To kill a mockingbird (1st)
- The Outlander series (1st)
- The Temeraire series (3rd)
- Harry Potter (3rd)
- The Hobbit (but not the others 3rd)
- Lottery (1st)
- The Underneath (3rd)
- Witching Hour (3rd) 
- Dune (3rd)

In looking at these, I'm adrift. I know how I want FS to sound, and I think I'm onto it but not entirely there fully. 

So my plan follows thusly: to finish the first draft (ha) of FS. Let it sit, and really think about the voice that I know I want. (I can feel it, it's right *there). Then go through once and make sure the voice is there. THEN copyedit, etc etc. 

I think I might get it there. Because that voice is elusive, and difficult to catch. 

Darn voice anyways. 


pseudosu said...

This is very interesting. I'm hoping you get lots of comments on this. I've often wondered if voice is really something you can intentionally direct. In my case it seems more like something I've written and lived my way into.

Is it something you can "make" or does it bubble-up naturally?

JKB said...

That's exactly what I'm wondering too, Pseu...because FS and PS are so completely different in voice *and yet* I wrote them both, I'm just wondering what others think. What do you think?

JKB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patti said...

Voice is interesting. I've never enjoyed writing in the first person. I even tried it for my next project but it didn't feel right.

JKB said...

I never thought I'd like first person until the girl came in and talked just that way. There was no way I was going to be able to write third with that voice.

So I did. And I have a wonderful agent from it, and am submitting now. I always thought that 3rd was easier, now I know it's not.

pseudosu said...

This is probably "wrong", but when i write 3rd I always think of the narrator as a character-- albeit one you may never "see" or meet per se. It usually winds up being sort of a smart ass version of "God".

Heidi said...

I think Sue is right. When I used to write, it was very flat because I was writing like I was just telling the story.

Now, as I'm writing this "new" book I'm writing in limited third person but almost as though the main character is telling it in third person.... like she is the narrator. So her personality comes out through the narrator - like we are seeing all the story through her opinions and perspectives.

I think that has made it a much stronger story than my other 3rd person attempts.

Of course, I have no idea what to do if you are writing in third person omniscient. Be schizophrenic??

marsh to the fore said...

This post I'm going to keep coming back to for the comments. I'm now struggling with first person versus third. I also never thought I could do first person--preferring I guess what Heidi calls limited third person. But both times I used it there was no other way. The character spoke and she was in first person!