If you have a pitch-perfect awesome VOICE to your manuscript, you could have other weaknesses. But if you have a weak voice, you're screwed.
— jennifer laughran (@literaticat) July 17, 2013
I’ve been thinking about Voice lately.
Voice is that ‘something’ that informs the reader about the style and motivations of the characters without actually being visible on the page.
Meg Rosoff, in her Writer Unboxed article on voice this week, says
There is nothing superficial, however, about voice when used in the context of writing. Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.
This is the ‘something’ that writers struggle with.
Do they have the same voice for every protagonist? Is every book they write in some way autobiographical from their deepest being?
Ah the big questions.
If somehow this is true...how come nobody picked the distinctive voice of J K Rowling...after all we have been told by literary critics that she is not much of a writer, using all those adjectives and not writing tightly enough...or did the fact that she had a male pseudonym fudge the fact that it was quite a good story...moved along ok... did everything a detective novel should. The cynics are out saying great PR by her team and now you can only buy the hardcover on eBay at hugely inflated prices. The Passive Guy has a look at the Robert Galbraith (aka JKR)saga.
Porter Anderson has been looking at agent relationships this week. In two articles for Publishing Perspectives he examines the agent/writer relationship now in this Hybrid/Indie revolution. How close can it be? The Agents who have cannily enrolled best selling Indies to manage print deals and the Agents who-have-become -Publishers...He takes a close look at Rogue Reader...and very interesting it is too.
David Gaughran has sharply criticized PenguinRandom...in particular the RandomPenguin washing of Author Solutions. Author Solutions began as a vanity press that did everything for you at a huge cost. They are facing a class action lawsuit because of some of their questionable practices and you would think that maybe they would pull back...but no. This is a Writer Beware story that will make your writer heart shrivel a little.
The New Yorker has an opinion piece on the decline and fall of the book cover...and Bibliocrunch checks out virtual writing group hangouts using Google and Skype
Chuck Wendig has a distinctive voice...and a distinctive turn of phrase that occasionally makes your hair curl up and spontaneously combust. His latest 25 things post looks at Story Stakes...very good. And a superb little post on ten stupid writer tricks that might actually work.
The character therapist examines an archetype on the therapists couch. These are always interesting.
From The Book Designer, two great articles, 7 strategies of Blog Marketing and
Amazon Algorithms (this is all the latest on metadata Amazon style - a must read.)
Another Must Read is what this author is doing right across the tech spectrum...his character has taken over...is this the future?
Website to check out,
This list has a solid helpful link for every creative you know...There is literally something for everyone working in the publishing industry here.
One of my favourite adult fiction authors Jenny Crusie (who has a fantastic voice) has written a great post on Sharknado. This film, shown on US cable this week, had my twitter feed fill up with writer reactions. The premise is so off the wall that there are very jealous writers out there wishing they had thought of a tornado that sucks up sharks and dumps them on a town in a hungry and vengeful mood. Jenny writes about high concept, going with your gut, ideas that are so off the wall and the courage a writer has to have to grab something like this and make it work.
I’m out and about around the country next week...so there won’t be a blog post...but by then Twitter will be filled with Royal Baby news and the cynics who don’t care...so just as well I’m taking a break...heheheheh.
Tweet from Agent Jennifer Laughran...talking about MG this week on Twitter.