>> Saturday, March 03, 2007

That's how I'm feeling at the moment...blah, boring.

You may have noticed there's a lot of talk right now on Voice. I must be on the collective blogger's wavelength, because I wrote about it on RWKF last week. And in talking about voice, the topic of originality always comes up. Unique story lines, fresh voice, intruiging perspectives.

Its all been on my mind lately, and I have to say I'm feeling quite...vanilla. I can't find any of that in my past or present works. It may be that I'm too close to it, that I can't see my own growth when I'm working at it everyday. I'm sure that's true to a point. But I also think I'm objective enough to realize my work doesn't have the spark it should.

I'm rewriting Dead Man's Hand, and have found it lacking in every aspect. Why was I writing this story? What was it about this that intruiged me to begin with--enough to get through the first 15 chapters?

My characters won't let me in their heads. They stick their tongues out at me or turn their backs when I try to engage them in coversation. My red herrings are more green than red, my twists more a slight curve than a corkscrew.

Do you ever feel like your work is rather vanilla in comparison to what's out there or what's selling or what agents/editors say they're looking for? When you find your work tending toward the ordinary, what do you do to spice it up?


Linda Winfree 7:47 AM  

Only every time I start a new book.

While I'm working on said book.

When I finish new book.

I'm absolutely terrified right now that my new editor, who received the subs I sent to my former editor, won't love my work and voice the way the former editor did.

I wish I had strategies for enhancing voice, but I don't. I just go with what I "hear" in my head . . . that tends to be my writing voice. Does that make any sense whatsoever?

Joan Swan 3:21 PM  

From what I've been reading, seems that's exactly what you should be listening to -- that those unique voices in your head are what make up your authorial voice.

I do the same. I guess I just often wonder if what I'm hearing and how I'm interpreting that to the page have the fresh, unique voice that will make the difference.

So far, it's not looking that way.

Elisabeth Naughton 6:17 PM  

Ditto ditto. Nothing I write ever feels new and intriguing. Personaly, I think fresh and unique are matters of opinion. I also think you're right though, J - as writer's we're too close to see what's different about our writing. That's where faith in our abilities and ideas comes in. ;)

Joan Swan 1:22 PM  

Faith in our abilities and ideas??? Where does that come from?

Elisa 7:14 AM  

I feel like that all the time, especially with my contemporaries. They just seem to boring to me, and I've gotten to the point that I can't stand writing them.

Linda, I know what you mean about the editor. I just got a new one, too, and my old one forwarded two submissions to her. One of the submissions was a project the old editor was really excited about, and the other was one she'd asked me to revise and resubmit. Now I'm worried the new editor is going to hate the subs and never want to work with me again.

Joan Swan 4:07 PM  


After writing demon characters in a twisted afterlife plot might make contemporaries a little...bland. :-)

Elisa 3:31 PM  

LOL, J...I think it's that I can't come up with a contemporary storyline that hasn't already been done better by someone else. I tend to have a little trouble (okay, a lot of trouble LOL) creating some decent conflict.

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