I've been haphazardly plowing through my MAASS book, WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL as I work on my huge revision. I tend to revise in pieces: write a little, read a little about craft, ruminate a lot, read through my pages in advance, generate ideas (occasionally brilliant, often not) and write some more.
Some of my writing/blogging friends like Martha and Gwen have a more scheduled way of blogging about their writing and craft work and prompts (read the daily squirrel or prompt). I do not. I blog the way I write and I write the way I think. Basically, I am a bipolar writer/or left to right brain to left again writer. I cross the lateral a lot.
I can be logical and organized, making my neat little Scrivener scene cards, or I can be a musical mess of a jumble of hand written index cards flying around the house. I've got charts, graphs, hard copies, soft copies and a bundle of in-between stuff as I work.
Reading through the Maass book this week, I generated a lot of cool ideas or thoughts about my current WIP in Revision and I also revisited the core of my writing: voice.
What is voice? Is it style? Is it a unique way of writing that sets you apart? Is it tone? What is the elusive quality of "voice" that people are talking about when they talk about a writer's voice? I think Maass covers it very well in his book:
... voice is a natural attribute. You can no more control it than you can control the color of your eyes--nor would you want to. Plenty of breakout authors have a distinctive voice.
To set your voice free, set your words free. Set your characters free. Most important, set your heart free. It is from the unknowing shadows of your subconscious that your stories will find their drive and from which they will draw their meaning. No one can loan you or teach you that. Your voice is your self in the story.
Eloisa James said the same thing in a very eloquent way during her Keynote Luncheon speech during the 2009 RWA National Conference. Pour your soul onto the pages. Pour your heart into your writing. Mine your feelings.
You have a story to tell. It's YOUR story. Whether you write romance, gothic literature, vampire YA novels or mysteries, YOU HAVE A STORY.
How we approach writing the story might very well reveal our writing voices. Just as no two writers approach their writing the same way, no two writers have the same writing voice. They can't. They're different people.
Yes. Read other amazing authors' books. But be sure to remember that as much as you may admire their work, only YOU can write a book with YOUR voice in it.