Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Voice Part Two

Yesterday's post shook my brain and I remembered a comment by Anita Burgh (author of over twenty novels) who I hope will forgive me for expressing her thoughts - probably badly. She commented that voice comes from your characters and not the writer as such. She mentioned that you should never hear the writer only the character's views. The voice depends on who you chose to tell the story and what p.o.v. Anita ran a fabulous session at the RNA Conference on P.O.V. My report here http://lizfenwick.blogspot.com/2007/07/rna-conference-part-6.html

I found that interesting based on some of yesterday's comments. KK was struggling as she felt too much of her own thoughts were currently in the work. I suppose in that the heroine of August Rock is an American incomer to Cornwall so there is much of my experience in Judith but she's definitely not me. In A Cornish House I don't think either main character reflects me at all - if anyone was 'me' in that it would be Tamsin, a secondary character. The attempt at a Mills and Boon I wrote back in 2005 probably had much more of me in the heroine - btw it was a huge flop on many accounts except that it was a complete work. Lucky Rachel is clear that the voice in her work is that of Jasfoup

So on the voice debate, is it your voice or is the character's voice?

On a completely different note, many people have asked how I stay sane with all the moving we have done. The picture below is a huge part of my sanity.

8 comments:

Phillipa said...

Liz - what happens, however, when you have abook with an omniscient narrator, as many novels do? Surely 'your' voice or the narrator's is going to intrude then?

liz fenwick said...

Good question...will have to think on it and look throuhg my notes to see if AB said anything about that.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Is it a good thing, I wonder, to have the voice of a snarky demon?

Wow - what a fabulous house.

liz fenwick said...

Don't know whether it is a good thing to have the voice of a snarky demon but hey if it works.....

yes, it is a fab house :-)

B.E. Sanderson said...

Rachel's demon aside, I think where most people get hung up is making a distinction between their voice and the voice of their characters. These aren't separate people inside our heads - no matter how much they seem like it sometimes.

Beautiful house, lovely garden. I imagine it as a very relaxing retreat. Thanks for sharing your quiet spot with us. =oD

liz fenwick said...

b.e. I think you're right on the difficulty of keeping them separate yet if we are using several different viewpoints we manage to do that or else the characters all sound the same.

Lisa said...

Beautiful house! I started a workshop last night and one of the things we talked about was the difference between author, narrator and character voice. I think confusion between author and either character/narrator is really only something to think about when writing in 1st Person -- where if too much author voice comes through, the danger is morphing fiction to memoir. I think in fiction, even if we're writing in first or we have a 3rd person omniscient narrator, we always have a tendency to create a unique voice from our own, don't we?

liz fenwick said...

Lisa, i don't know. It was funny to here Anita talk about it as she was very clear yet I have heard so much about voice.......