Tuesday, February 14, 2012


The most difficult part of starting a new story, for me, is finding the voice. This is different from style. Author style and story voice [which is heavily influenced by or even dependent on the nuances and perspective of the main character(s)] should be complimentary if noticeable at all, but they aren't the same thing.

Voice isn't dependent on plot, though plot can influence the tone, which in turn can help shape the voice.

I'm writing in third person, which I haven't done in awhile, and with alternating point-of-views, which I rarely use. So, I have to find both the characters' unique voices, and then bring them together under the tonal umbrella. Not to be confused with the intentionally-stuttered Umbrella:

This story is supposed to be a romance. Romance has, at its essence, a few traditional components. The couple (or more, if you're going for slightly less-traditional). The meeting. The falling. The HEA (happily ever after).

What does this story have so far?

  • A small airplane that might be in crashing
  • A rant about indifferent architecture
  • A beaver - nay, an albino beaver - joke
  • A sea cucumber reference (possibly involving snot)
  • A single member of the couple
Why have I not yet had these two halves of a single heart waltz into a room and swoon in the other's direction? Because I haven't found the voice yet. I'll continue to write in circles and tangents until the discordant strings come together to play a single note.

There shall be quirkiness, judging from the things my single so-far character thinks about. There shall also be a great sense of adventure. Because, hell, isn't that what falling in love is all about? Taking the running leap and hoping the other party comes with?

Do you ever get hung up like this when you start a new work? Or do you have the characters and the voice, but not know what to do with them?

In separate news, if my cat says I beat her, please ignore her. I just refilled her water bowl and, when I went to set it on the floor, she darted beneath it and got hit on the head. Also, doused. Then, after running out of the room while I was looking for paper towels, she ran back into the room and slid through the spilled water, going ass over teakettle into the kid's old toddler potty. She then gave me a look that said she knew I'd pushed her into it. I hadn't, but I did laugh. Loudly. At her.


  1. Voice is difficult. My first book (just published!) went through several rewrites while trying to find Isabela's voice. With my last two, it's all been natural.

    I don't trust cats. Not even my own. :)

    1. Congratulations on the publication!

      One should never trust one's own cats. Ever.

  2. This is the hardest part of a new story for me too. I can have the plot fully lined out, but it still takes a while to get into the MC's voice (doubly hard with two POVs). The first chapter or two are the hardest for me, and generally have to be rewritten extensively once I eventually work the voice issues out.

    Also, poor kitty. D:

  3. A new voice for a new story is very difficult, especially if it flowed naturally in a previous one.

    'Course, writing more than one story may help...