The World As I See It

13 Jul

This week another person told me they loved my voice. This has stopped taking me by surprise. Not because I’m like “Check me out!” *shakes voice booty* “My voice rocks!” But because I’ve heard it enough times to realize they must actually mean it.

You see, the books people keep referring to don’t feel like they have a voice to me. It’s just me telling my story. Yeah, Amy’s is really light, kind of quirky. A little polite while being slightly sarcastic at the same time. Rachel is darker, she doesn’t watch her mouth as much. She sees herself and her world in a way that almost no one around her can even understand.

The thing is, I can hear myself in both these girls. Once, a friend was reading part of Secret Girlfriend back to me. She had inflections and pauses and I was ready to book her on America’s Got Talent when I finally asked, “What are you doing???” — “You. This sounds just like you.”

So, there you have it. It’s true. While my characters aren’t me, I’ll admit I bring a lot of me to the twang and cadence. A lot of my way of looking around and saying, “Hey! Did you see that!” when no one else seems to… One friend actually pulled over and made me drive for a while so he could look around since everything was so interesting. He was majorly disappointed to find that it was only interesting through my eyes (his words, not mine).

All this means great news! It means we can strengthen our voice (or whatever it is we get complimented on) by harnessing the compliment and expanding it. Not backing away from it.

Be curious. Be yourself. Be adventurous. Don’t self-censor. That same silliness (or whatever it is about you you rein in so people don’t lock you up), it thrives on the page.

Which makes me wonder, how’s the world as you see it?

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4 Responses to “The World As I See It”

  1. Bethanne July 13, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    I’ve been told I’m a cynic. I suppose I am… but I think that tendency in me helps me to be laid back and to laugh at the world. And in that sense, I’m a contrary person, because at the same time, I’m an optimist: one who can laugh when crap keeps happening. 😀

    BTW, what are you up to? do you have a books page anymore? I guess you’ve entered the invisible shielded world of writers, because I haven’t seen you around much. *hugs*

  2. Katrina Williams July 13, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    As one of the people who said that to you…about time you listened…lol

    I took a workshop recently about voice and the instructor said voice=you naked on the page. I find that scary but only because I’m still trying to figure me out. Interestingly enough, my characters are often the type of personalities I would consider the opposite of me, but who still manage to talk like me and share most of my values.

    I subscribe to the theory I don’t have to write Christian books, but I’m still a Christian writing books, so I’m working on balancing that with genre fiction. It’s a work in progress…does that um, answer the question?

  3. Daisy Harris July 13, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Hi Bria!

    Funny, I wrote a blog post about this the other day. http://daisyharris.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/on-bicycle-helmets-and-the-high-price-of-playing-it-safe/

    I loved writing as a kid, but veered away from it because I always butted heads with my English teachers. A common complaint from them was that I always had to play devil’s advocate (a habit I inherited from my dad, a corporate lawyer, arguably a literal devil’s advocate.)

    Fast forward 25 years, and I’m back to writing, but now I’m running with my natural tendencies. Little mermaids who don’t want to be human, virginal heroes and trampy heroines, little red riding hoods who want the big bad wolf to eat them up.

    You can never be truly great if you’re trying to be someone else. If I look at a situation and automatically wonder why it wouldn’t be better in reverse- well that’s what I gotta write!

    Daisy Harris
    @400rejections

  4. briaq July 13, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    LOL Bethanne – I’m not hiding or shielded or anything. I just narrowed down where I am so I can focus more on getting stuff done.

    Katrina – Listen lady, if I want to be quirky and sarcastic i WILL — I mean, thanks 🙂

    Daisy – I totally believe in following what your passionate in. Trying to write outside of that is going to make work feel harder – I know we’ll all have to do it sometime probably, but why not start where we love and try to build a niche, right?

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