Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Tuesday's Inspiration - Voice - Writer's, Story's, Viewpoint Character
While reading a piece in The Writer's Handbook buy Marjorie Franco, awriter I don't know I discovered something that interested me. Though she was writing about Point of View, she mentioned several things about voice that interested me. Writers are always trying to find their Voice. Many find it and others don't. I once had a writer friend say she knew no matter which genre I write she could hear my voice beneath what I'd written. I always wondered how this was possible. Also a very long time ago, some readers who also knew me read one of my very first books and said the story sounded just like me. I wondered what that meant.
What interested me is that the writer of this article mentioned there are three voices contained in every story. There is the writer's voice, the story's voice and the voice of the view point character. So I've been thinking about this a lot since reading this article. The writer's voice infuses the entire story. To me my voice is made up of the things I have experiences during my life time. There are also symbols that occur in many of my stories. There are often caves or dark places the characters must move through to find their goal. Another one of my symbols are jewels. I've always had a fascination for gems but also for odd or different small stones. Jewels often find their way into my stories. Do ou have symbols in your stories. Learning what they are could help bring your voice to life. The writer's voice also contains the emotions they've experienced. These are infused into the character's actions and reactions.
The second voice Marjorie Franco mentioned was the story voice. I had to think of this a lot, especially since I'm not writing the fifth in a series focusing on the same character. When I read what I thought was the first chapter to my critique group, one comment was fast stary. Story moved along. Then I looked back at the other storues in the series and I knew what I thought was the initial opening wasn't. These stories kind of creep rather than move at a rapid pace. The story voice of this series is not action but observation. So it was back to the drawing board to find the story voice which is in part the pacing of the story.
The voice of the viewpoing character is the third thing the author of the piece mentioned. Each character who is the focus of the story is a different person. When one jumps from genre to genre they must find a character who fits the criteria. Each character must be different or the same in the case of writing a series. But series characters can grow and change. So must characters in a stand alone story. The character's voice reflects their experience with life and the writer must know more about the character than ever reached the pages of the story. In essence the writer must become the character just as an actor in the movies or on the stage enters the character's life.
What about you? Do you attempt to find the three voices of each story you write?