Pencil to Paper

The Daily Life of a Compulsive Writer

Right Voice, Wrong Time February 12, 2012

Filed under: Writing — katblogger @ 10:31 AM
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Line edits take forever. You know how you can read a word so many time that it loses all meaning? I’ve reread lines from my manuscript so many times that I swear they’re imprinted into my brain. What’s even worse is that I’m picking up bad habits.

For example, one of my MCs is quite foul mouthed. It got so prevalent that it turned into a running gag for me; I made sure that an expletive found its way into the very last line she narrated. Unfortunately, spending so much time in her POV started rubbing off on me. It was most obvious during one lunchtime conversation while we talked about healthy eating.

Healthy girl: You should eat a lot of greens.

Me: I eat peas and cucumber.

Healthy girl: I guess those are technically green.

Me: *mentally* Damn straight.

Not my usual response, that’s for sure. I’m well known for never swearing, a habit ingrained in me throughout childhood. I immediately cracked up, of course, and had to explain myself to Healthy girl and my other friends, who were naturally wondering why I’d dissolved into hysterics. Apparently the combination of overwork, college stress, and ¬†sheer line editing boredom have lowered my verbal inhibitions.

Let’s hope I don’t start taking after any other characters. Turning into a homicidal maniac wannabe probably wouldn’t help me land any scholarships.


Finding Your Voice… Or Killing It September 21, 2010

Filed under: Writing — katblogger @ 10:12 PM
Tags: ,

I complain about Twilight. A lot. Mostly because there are so many excellent authors struggling to get a little recognition, and in strolls someone who writes sort of okay, has a plot with more holes than Swiss cheese… and yet makes millions. It’s enough to make any potential author scream – or wonder how much they can make with a trashy vampire novel rip off.

But one of the worst things about Twilight is that it’s told by a teenage girl. Only it’s not.

Let’s look at some sentences, shall we?

“I was ivory skinned”

“When life offers you a dream so far beyond any of your expectations, it’s not reasonable to grieve when it comes to an end”

“Edward… blah blah… perfection… blah blah… gold eyes… blah blah… Greek god…” Ok… that one’s not in there. But pretty much.

Notice something about these? If you didn’t, go to a high school. Listen to the teenage girls. Chances are, they don’t talk like this. Have you ever heard a girl call herself ‘ivory skinned’? Or… gosh, I can’t even start on the second sentence. And I don’t think Bella ever refers to Edward as hot, but does on one occasion refer to him as a Greek god. Who refers to guys as Greek gods? (Norse, I understand, but that’s a different story…) Anyway, the problem is, Meyer appears to have forgotten how teenage girls talk. And when a seventeen – eighteen year old girl is telling the story, in first person no less, you’ve got to get the voice right.

But teachers are always talking about finding your voice, right? And once you’ve found it you should hold on tight and never let go, right? Not really. Some parts of your voice will always be there. But you’ve got to twist it to suit the story. The same story told by a teenage boy and a teenage girl would be drastically different, and you need to remember that.

But I’m willing to bet that neither of them would refer to themselves as ‘ivory skinned’.