What is Voice?

So as I trek through rewrites, reading how to write, reading literary agents advice blogs, and reading radical books that keep me from writing my own becuase the books I’m reading are sooooo consuming in all the right juicy ways… It made be come back again to the very difficult question for all developing writer’s: WHAT IS VOICE?

For awhile I thought it was maybe referrring to style? Maybe even certain favorite words sprinkled throughtout a novel (i.e.Guffaw in Twilight by Stephanie Meyer ; of course I loved every guffaw she wrote…and there were many, many, many guffaws.  There was a whole lot of guffawing “BUT I LOVE YOU TEAM EDWARD!”I guffawed.) 

But alas no, I don’t think my previous assumptions of what voice is, was correct.

Voice I believe is not so much your voice…you as the writer.  No the voice we are searching get down on paper are the voices of our characters.

The voice that needs to jump off the pages of our MS are the warmth, the icee edge, the thoughtfulness, the ill willed menacing ideas of hate and love from your PERSON. And, the PERSON I am referring to is not you the writer. It’s your character. The hero, the villain, the newpapers boy that yells, “Newsa! Newsa! Get your dose of fresh of the pressa-News!” before he gets run over by your villain’s gang of trouble.

Yes, I beleive voice is deeper than just the cold, hard words we pound onto the computer screen.  It’s the internal struggle. The inner past violence and pain of why our character say, do, and react the way they do.  The voice has to reverberate of your clean, white pages with a resonance of meeting the the character in 3D.

The way when you read a book with such gorgeous imagery with characters so alive, you can’t remember if you watched the movie or read the book first. Then you realize the book hasn’t come out with a movie, yet.

And that chill of excitement of feeling like that character, molded and sculpted in your mind, is someone you met in real life is the voice we as writers are looking for.  So don’t try to write your voice–mine is a asian valley girl with a cartoon pitch…not so good for sultry villians–we have to write the voice of our characters.

They are the one’s telling their story.  We the writers are only the mediums to get their voices on paper.

Anyways, enough of my ramblings.  This was just a thought.  Maybe your agree, diagree, or asking what the hell is this girl talking about… but either way let me know. Love to hear from you. 

Now it’s time to write my MC’s voice down.  Hopefully he hasn’t gone to sleep on me. ;D

Thank you for stopping by and write you later, way past twilight! ūüėė

Sooooo, What is a CP anyways?

For any writer, new or professional, CP is an acronym that will be as important as breathing or knowing the alphabet. CP is short for Critique Partner and if you didn’t know that already, now you know, because it is life altering.

Those two little letters is such an integral part of your writing world and future career that will never end.  Writing is a lonely, deep in your thoughts, singular act but yet once that MS is done, it takes a village to get that baby out into the outer world called publishing.

And the first person you need to set their eyes on your MS isn’t an agent, it’s a CP, to help catch little and BIG issues you may have missed because your eyes are glazed and numbed by repetition of your own words, and you practically can recite your MS like a long, never-ending monologue.

HERE IS WHAT A CP MEANS TO ME:

Critical Person     Clause Perfector     Character Perfector

Cheering Panel     Caring Person        Correcter Plotter

SO, how do you know how to pick or find a CP?

You need to be honest. ¬†You need to be kind. You have to be committed. ¬†You have to be open to new ideas and then, you decide what works and doesn’t. ¬†Your Critique Partner is not there to write, or rewrite, your words for you but they are there to give suggestions from their brilliant point of view.

They should unload all their fabulous ideas and questions, then you decide what is best for YOUR MS.

I say to be honest as well, for you need to know what is your weakness. ¬†My weakness is grammar. ¬†I slaughter it… in a bad way BUT I also slaughter, prose and imagery and plots and forward moving ¬†action like HERCULES on speed. ¬†I mean to use that example in a good way.

This honesty is very important because you need to find a CP that can fill your weakness and you fill in theirs… To fill in all the strengths to build the best foundation. ¬†And, you need at least two CP’s…so after a clean revise, you have another pair of writerly eyes to see if there was anything missed. And, there ALWAYS something. ¬†I promise. ¬†And, that’s why you need a CP village.

But, at the same time you have to also be able to communicate what you need help in too. ¬†And remember, ¬†your critique partner is there to want to HELP you, not slaughter your words, they are telling you their thoughts because you asked. ¬†Not because they want to discourage you. ¬†You asked them to find mistakes/questionable things, and be the nit-picker of your words, so you can make sure you didn’t miss anything. Before you push that all important button, SEND to your most IMPORTANT,¬†pickiest, one chance for a hit, reader, your future agent of your dreams.

So go! Find your village! Find your VICP! (VERY IMPORTANT CRITIQUE PARTNER…heehee)

What? You don’t know where to find these awesome Critical Partners? Well, let me help, by telling you where I found my wonderful village:

Maggie Stiefvater runs an annual CP Love Connection in January but you can always check throughout the year to see if anyone is still searching for a CP love connection.  http://maggiestiefvater.com/blog/2015-critique-partner-love-connection/

Megan Grimit hosts an amazing twitter #CPMATCH you can also follow Megan on @MeganGrimit http://megangrimit.blogspot.com/p/cp-matchmaker.html

I hope this post helps you find your village because it’s awesome to share your dreams and live and breath words with someone as passionate about getting published. To ultimately, share your STORY with the WORLD!

And, when you finally get there, you’ll have an entire VILLAGE TO PARTY WITH!!! heh heh heh!

Thank you for stopping by and write you later, way past twilight!