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A Question on Voice

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RedAngelfire



Joined: 30 Jul 2007
Posts: 6
A Question on Voice  Reply with quote  

I'm having trouble with having a voice in my writing. It's easy when it's first person perspective, you just write what the character thinks and feels. But in my story I don't have the right kind of plot or story that first person would work.
Therefore, I can't find a voice good enough for third person perspective. I don't know how to write in third person without making it sound tired or robotic. Chris's books are funny in any perspective, they make me want to keep going because even the descriptions can make me laugh out loud. The only way I know how to get over this is to try to imitate HIS writing voice. But I don't want to do that. His voice is his own, and I respect him too much to do that.

How can I develop my own voice? I don't want my stories to be a bore. I'm so stuck.

Post Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:58 pm   View user's profile Send private message
skunk johnson



Joined: 01 May 2004
Posts: 716
Location: the nicer swamps of Florida
Re: A Question on Voice  Reply with quote  

RedAngelfire wrote:
The only way I know how to get over this is to try to imitate HIS writing voice. But I don't want to do that. His voice is his own, and I respect him too much to do that.

How can I develop my own voice? I don't want my stories to be a bore. I'm so stuck.


Have you ever actually tried to imitate his voice? Hmmm?
If you can only imitate him for page after page then I would say that is a damn good problem to have! Shocked
But try it, and who knows, you might find your own voice.
Wink
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Post Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:03 am   View user's profile Send private message
Tito



Joined: 30 Mar 2004
Posts: 1203
Location: is everything
Re: A Question on Voice  Reply with quote  

RedAngelfire wrote:
I'm having trouble with having a voice in my writing. It's easy when it's first person perspective, you just write what the character thinks and feels. But in my story I don't have the right kind of plot or story that first person would work.
Therefore, I can't find a voice good enough for third person perspective. I don't know how to write in third person without making it sound tired or robotic. Chris's books are funny in any perspective, they make me want to keep going because even the descriptions can make me laugh out loud. The only way I know how to get over this is to try to imitate HIS writing voice. But I don't want to do that. His voice is his own, and I respect him too much to do that.

How can I develop my own voice? I don't want my stories to be a bore. I'm so stuck.


You develop your own voice by writing and by NOT trying to sound like anyone else.

Post Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:37 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Sephonae



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 5218
Location: New York
Re: A Question on Voice  Reply with quote  

skunk johnson wrote:
RedAngelfire wrote:
How can I develop my own voice? I don't want my stories to be a bore. I'm so stuck.


Have you ever actually tried to imitate his voice? Hmmm?
If you can only imitate him for page after page then I would say that is a damn good problem to have! Shocked
But try it, and who knows, you might find your own voice.
Wink

I would suggest you don't stop there; maybe try writing a bit in the voice of a number of authors, as a regular exercise. Pick a "scene" you have in mind and try it as the AG, then as Jane Austen, then as Chuck Palahniuk, then as Ayn Rand (::shudders:: on second thought, not as Ayn Rand). But, you know, play around with it, see how you do.

Maybe some of these will help:

http://writeitsideways.com/5-ways-to-unleash-your-writers-voice-today/

http://thebusinessofwriting.wordpress.com/2010/03/13/tips-to-find-your-writer%E2%80%99s-voice/

http://wffrederick.com/blog/2008/03/13/find-your-writing-voice.html
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Post Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:31 pm   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
zendao42



Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 13570
Location: Somewhere in a galaxy near you
 Reply with quote  

You can also consider your audience-
you know, the as-yet imaginary folks who will be reading your work-
don't forget that the original storytellers did their thing live & outloud...

Post Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:43 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
simba major



Joined: 29 Apr 2010
Posts: 626
 Reply with quote  

Maybe this of this:

You're not writing 3rd person omni, are you? Hardly anyone does anymore. What you're actually doing is writing close 3rd - the camera is looking over their shoulder, so to speak. It's actually a kind of smudging of first and third person, a neat little compromise, an attempt to garner the benefits of both while avoiding the weaknesses of each - I imagine you know what those are.

So if you feel that you could manage a first person narration, you're halfway there, aren't you?

Temper that with the type and feel of the story and how you think it wants to be told and you're there, aren't you?

A sixties' hppie love story would have a different narrative feel than 80s Wall St. Intrigue. Try writing a paragraph or so in a number of scenarios. Try a few voices just for fun. Nothing too onerous. Don't get toooooooooo self-conscious about it.

Take your own story. Write a scene without thinking "voice". Just tell the story! Everythging else you do is to serve that story. Don't get all navel gazing about it.

Everyone has a voice, by the way. Including you. Do enough writing and it pops out sooner or later all by itself. Write up a storm without censoring or revising yourself and you will find yourself slipping into it in a way that is tempered by the story and viewpoint character. I think you "find" it rather than invent it.

But if you really get stuck, try writing the scene first person then rewrite it in third.

Hope that helps.

Post Sat May 01, 2010 8:35 am   View user's profile Send private message
chris
Site Admin


Joined: 02 Mar 2004
Posts: 3833
Location: People Republic of Northern California
 Reply with quote  

I imitate Steinbeck when things start to slide on the corners. Tito's expertise notwithstanding.

It's okay to try to imitate a tone from another author, given two things, first, it fits the material, and second, you can maintain some consistency. What I think you'll find, is that once you get a couple of paragraphs into a scene, you'll fall into the voice you're using, and it won't be mine, or Raymond Chandler's, or Douglas Adams's, it will be yours. Do what you need to do to get the work done.

Post Sat May 01, 2010 10:06 am   View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Tito



Joined: 30 Mar 2004
Posts: 1203
Location: is everything
 Reply with quote  

chris wrote:
Tito's expertise notwithstanding.


Thank you. It's nice to have my sage advice acknowledged by a luminary in the field.

Post Sat May 01, 2010 1:41 pm   View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
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