04 November 2013

Jordan Takes Over: Creating a Voice

**The first Monday of every month, I let my muse take over the blog. I apologize in advance. **

Sarah wanted to write a quick little paragraph to introduce this post but guess what? I get one post a month and it’s MINE. So no. No no no. I’m plenty good at explaining things.

But first, holy shit I haven’t posted since we finished the book! No one has given me any credit! You know it’s not entirely my fault that it took so long, right? But we won’t get into that. I mean, yeah, the end was tough, but I don’t think everyone is just peachy spilling their guts over how they lost their virginity. So there. But yeah, it’s done! I won’t get into the second draft woes. She’ll probably write about that on Wednesday. *heavy sigh*

So I guess we’re taking a break to write about VAMPIRES. Ugh. Whatever. It’s only a month. But it’s kind of like being in a relationship with someone for a while and then they turn to you and say, “Oh by the way, honey, I love this super lame thing and you have to love it, too!” And you’re stuck.

But anyway, we’ve been writing away on this thing for only three days and she’s already having doubts about it. I mean, like, put on the brakes and give up sort of doubts. Because she’s got good ideas, but they’re just not translating to the page the way she wanted. As usual, I figured out the problem right away. And it’s all about voice.

The problem is the narrator, Alex. He’s a wimp. He’s not even a good vampire and he can’t decide who or what he’s attracted to—boys, girls, or just someone whose blood smells tasty. He refuses to kill anyone and that’s really what gets him into trouble with the bad guy, who’s still nameless, by the way. Needless to say, I don’t like him. And I had absolutely nothing to do with creating him, thank you very much.

The other characters are cool. Jackelyn is the best—she used to be a slayer who tried to kill Alex and when he beat her instead of letting her die he turned her into a vampire. So since they’re eternally linked or whatever, or because she just wants to annoy him to get revenge, they live together. And she kinda still wants to kill him. Benny, the love interest, isn’t exactly a strong character, but he’s well developed. He’s sort of fragile and na├»ve, and he was abused as a kid and is afraid of the dark. I mean, come on, you’re dating a vampire and you’re afraid of the dark? That’s some complex stuff right there. Oh, and the baddy is just sadistic for the sake of being sadistic. Who doesn’t love that?

I’m getting off track here. I’m supposed to be talking about voice. Your character’s voice is never gonna come to you instantly. No, not even mine. When Sarah first wrote the short story about me, guess what? It sounded like a girl’s voice. It takes a while to craft a unique voice. The first step with me was to just throw in a bunch of f-bombs and then we worked from there. Now it’s hard for her to NOT write in my voice. It’s like second nature. It’s probably because I’m so awesome. Does my voice annoy you? I’m not as bad in the book, I swear.

So I know why this book is bothering her so much. Alex doesn’t have his own voice yet. Sure, it’s fine for the character to be wishy-washy because that’s something for him to overcome. But his voice shouldn’t be, and right now it is. There’s nothing very striking about it, nothing to distinguish him from anybody else. But honestly, we’re probably not going to make it perfect AND get the whole book done within a month. The best thing we can do is make the story interesting, and then if she wants to go back and edit, then we can craft the voice into something better.

But if she keeps WORRYING about it, then nothing is going to get done. Nothing. We just need to go with it.


JP

5 comments:

  1. LOL... tell her not to worry, Jordan. I heard this great quote on WritingExcuses.com... "We write from the heat of our passion, but we edit to see the fire through the smoke." (I don't know the original speaker.) Also "the first draft is for what we want to say, the second draft is for how we want to say it." ~DanWells.

    I'm starting slowly, myself.. but I'm just trying not to overthing my issue. I have that problem a lot.

    Happy Writing!!

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    1. I love the second quote! My problem is that I'll write something and then read it over and find it's lacking the usual fire I write with. I do like what's happening in the story, so I'll just keep going with it and hopefully the voice will start to form itself.

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  2. "over think" not "over thing" *facepalm*

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  3. Don't snub the supporting characters! If you love them, you may find they have their own stories to tell.

    Keep at it, Sarah. Good luck.

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    1. I almost feel like I should be writing from one of the supporting characters' point of view since they seem more interesting. But that's not really the story I'm telling, I guess. And third person never works for me.

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