|The first Wednesday of the month|
is time for Insecure Writers Support Group,
hosted by Alex Cavanaugh and his
I'm pretty sure I've posted about this before: of all the problems that confound writers, the thing I feel most insecure about is "voice" - that unique, almost undefinable expression or way of looking at, talking about or showing the world that every artist needs. I am struggling with voice, AGAIN. A crit partner re-read my first chapter of Star Tripped, which I showed her oh-so-proudly because I streamlined it (very nicely, I thought) thanks to help from my PitchWars coach. And she agreed, oh yes, this is good... but one problem, your 2nd main character sounds pretty much like your first main character. He needs a more distinct voice.
Ah yes, my old nemesis: my characters sounding too much alike. I'm already insecure about my own voice, not to mention my characters' voices. (Truly writers are odd creatures: the only people who WANT more voices in their heads!)
Issue #1: I've been thinking for two weeks now about how to give this guy a more unique voice. And it hasn't come to me yet.
Issue #2: I recognize my voice when I read it, when it comes spilling out of its own accord, but I can't force it, and lately it seems to be really scarce. I think a major reason being is this whole past year I've been doing nothing but revisions, and almost no fresh drafting. Can you edit out your voice? Can you edit it back in?
Fortunately, another writer here in Laramie, Emily Moore (@EGMoorewriter) found me online (I live in a small town, this is close to a miracle, connecting with another kidlit writer!) and we got together and decided to start a local writers group. I have another friend who just recently moved here who was also interested. So we had our first meeting this week and we did a 15 minute writing prompt exercise, and a 15 minute free write. I know that free writing and prompt writing are both excellent exercises to tease voices out (and new ideas!) but it's really hard for me to push myself to do these on my own. Or in the online writing community. Sometimes there's just no replacement for meeting face to face with other writers!
How do you find your voice? And your characters' voices?