Saturday, January 23, 2010

Blog Chain - Hearing Voices

It's blog chain time again. Didn't I just post? I've been in a revision time warp and just barely poked my head out. The super fantastic Sarah posed the question this time around:

How did you find your particular voice as a writer?


Your voice as a writer is the make it or break it secret ingredient. When I sat down to seriously take a stab at writing, I have to admit, it was like the equivalent of vanilla ice cream narrative. Not exactly a taste-bud stimulator. I was so worried about seeming "professional", using my words correctly, and sounding "proper"--or at least what I conceived proper writing to be. What I hadn't taken in to account was that I omitted "ME" from the story.

My second book was better, loose. I allowed my characters their personalities, but it still wasn't there. I was still afraid to let go, to let myself be heard. I hid behind what I thought people wanted to hear. It wasn't until I had one of those f**k it moments that I truly found my voice. I erased all of my preconceived notions and decided to throw the words out there and see what happens.

I let my character be who she wanted to be. I let a little of myself out on the page. I didn't worry about the profanity, the silly sayings that are mine alone, and the smart-ass tenor of the words. I let the story breathe and it came to life. I'm proudest of this book. It's gotten me the most attention. I've worked harder on it than any other project because it's a refection of how far I've come and a testament to how difficult it was for me to break down the walls and let my creativity take the lead. You have to trust yourself. You can't be afraid to be yourself. You have to bleed into every single word. And once you allow yourself to open up to your craft, you'll find your voice.

Check out Kate's post before mine and Sandra's tomorrow to read about how they found their voices!

15 comments:

Christine Fonseca said...

Great post Amanda!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

This is an interesting post idea. I think writing voice can change with different story ideas, but I think personality plays a HUGE role. :-)

Cole Gibsen said...

Beautiful post, Amanda. I couldn't agree more!

Sandra said...

I think voice and character are definitely intertwined. I'll be discussing that tomorrow.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Isn't it funny how sometimes giving yourself permission to just screw the rules and be yourself can sometimes be the hardest thing of all?

Really great post!

Sarah Bromley said...

Fantastic post, Amanda! You definitely have a clear voice in your writing. It's bad ass. :-)

Eric said...

Nice response. I like where you describe your decision to just be you, where you say f*ck it and let the words be what they are going to be. I'm sure thats when your voice really began to come through clearly.

Elana Johnson said...

Ah, letting the story breathe. That's always the way to go, right? Right. So glad you did that!

WindyA said...

It's just really hard to let go of preconceived notions sometimes. But once you reach that breaking point, magic happens!

Sharla said...

Awesome topic, and so important! I love to hear about how other writers find and make peace with their voice. Thanks!

Suzyhayze said...

nice. important. i love your kick ass heroines!

Sharla said...

Hey girl, wanted to let you know to go trekking over to my blog...I gave you an award!

You're awesome!

B.J. Anderson said...

Fantastic! Awesome post and so glad you've found your voice.

Rebecca Knight said...

I love that you had a frak-it moment :)! I get those, too, once in a while. Great post--thank you for letting us see your writing journey!

Blasé said...

I agree with whatever Cole Gibsen said...