I’m still a bit sleepy, so if this post rambles, forgive me…
Sarah Hoyt’s series over at PJM on writing a novel in 13 weeks is up to 6 weeks, I missed week # 5, but here is the new post, and an excellent one. Finding your voice, or in my case, knowing which character to listen to, is not a fast or easy process. I’ve been writing for over ten years, with feeling. Before that, I wrote, but never finished anything, wasn’t studying how to write, so I don’t count it. Recently, while cleaning out a bookcase, I found a handwritten story that I had started when I was about 16. I’m afraid to read it, but finding it made me laugh immoderately.
Over at Amazon, you can find the first story I ever finished, The Twisted Breath of God. It’s a short-short, and it blends what was at the time my newly-budding skill of balloon twisting with a classic SF premise of second contact. I can see, looking at it now, the beginning of my voice. Many of my short stories feature some unexpected revelation by the end, and that one was the first where I did that.
More recently, when writing Vulcan’s Kittens, I’d asked my writing group for insights on how best to write a teen girl. I’d started out modeling Linn after my eldest daughter, who I was writing the story for. But that wasn’t quite working. Linn has a very tough side to her, to survive what she’s going through, and to be able to take care of the kittens. My daughter, a child of our pampered modern culture, doesn’t have that. My writing group suggested I use my own experiences as a teen girl to develop her. Despite my initial concerns that I was not a normal teenaged girl, that actually worked. I am not saying Linn is me, because she isn’t at all. What helped was using my experiences to draw out her voice, through some concept of shared skills.
Evidently it worked, those who are reading Vulcan’s Kittens are telling me they like it. The first review is up on Amazon and I think it is unanimous that I must write a sequel. Which is delightful to hear, and I do indeed plan at least one sequel, but after I’m done with Pixie Noir. Speaking of voices, Lom’s is loud, and clear, which is very nice as it’s making writing easier. When I find time to write!
I may not finish the novel in progress inside the 13 weeks, mainly because timing was off. With school, work, and family to take care of, and a move that is less than a month away, the writing is just not highest priority. This summer, it will depend on how busy I am, and sorry, but I hope I am so busy with the business that I won’t have time to write much, either! Writing isn’t a primary source of income, and I don’t expect it to be for a long while yet. Until it is, I just can’t give it top billing.