It’s been almost a year since I started writing The Book. It sounds like a really long time, doesn’t it? A whole year.
In fact, I’ve been writing The Book for a lot longer than that, in my head. The characters have lived in there for a long time, many of them for years. Growing and living and taking on lives of their own, having conversations that have resulted from things I see or overhear.
And still I’m having trouble. The biggest problem that I have with The Book at the moment is finding the right voice. You see, everything else that I write, whether it be tweets or facebook updates, articles or blog posts, is in my voice. I write exactly how I speak. Which, for people that know me is fine, because they read the things that I write exactly how I would say them, as if I was standing over their shoulder reading it aloud. I would like to think that the people that don’t know me, get a sense of how I am, even if they don’t know the emphasis I put on certain words or my accent. But when it comes to The Book, I am struggling.
I think I’ve mentioned on a past blog post that sometimes I feel very overwhelmed with the weight of what I’m writing, like it’s a bigger project than I first anticipated. The idea of the first draft is simple enough: wordily vomit enough of the alphabet arranged in word form to be able to make something that partially makes sense, then mold it over and over until a proper story comes out. Hopefully even a story that some people might want to read. Even more hopefully; a story that people want to read and then feel something about.
But I can’t quite figure out how to get the right voice, which is essentially, how can I lose my own voice to let the characters have their own. Is this something that all new writers struggle with? I’m sure I’m not the only one. Answers on a postcard please. And by postcard, I mean the comments bit at the bottom.