Saturday, March 01, 2008

Madde Doesn't Have A Voice

First thank you for all your support while I looked at my writing or lack there of and fell into the pit of despair......Several things occurred to me. One is how wonderful the are people who visit my blog and two what a trememdous amount of knowledge there is out there in blog land.

A light bulb moment has just literally occured. I am enjoying a lazy Saturday morning thinking that well if I can't write I can bl..dly well read. So I have been stretched out on the sofa with Pillow Talk by Freya North. This is the book that won the Romantic Novel of the Year and I must say the pages are just turning.

Anyway in the back of my mind was the comment from Julie Cohen regarding the fact that my writing is too pat. here is her comment (hope you don't mind Julie):

"I think it's almost impossible to tell if your own ideas are "too pat". I write things that I think are obvious all the time and someone will always say she didn't see it coming (though perhaps they are just being nice). Of course the ideas are obvious to you, you thought them up yourself. The key is to write them in such a way that only you could have done it. "

I love Julie's books. Her slant on life is fresh and lively. Her voice is unique. So you are wondering where I am going with is this I can tell. Well, I have been struggling with A Cornish House and the fact that Serena, the 15 year old, dominates the story even though page for page there is less of her. I have spent hours thinking of how to balance the story and what can to do to Madde to make her story as compelling. Then reading Freya's book I realize that I have starved Madde of her voice. I have told her story although in her viewpoint in dialogue and action but none of it really in her head and with her thoughts. I know this is a funny thing to say but I felt freedom to run riot in Serena's head which is sucessful but I held back from Madde's because I was incorrectly thinking that being in Madde's head was telling and showing and make for bad writing if that makes any sense.

Suddenlty thinking about this I think this may be what holds August Rock back from being the book it could be .......but I am not going to rewrite that one now. However having decided this morning that I was going to give myself a week to work on the new book I know now I am going to go back into Madde's head from the start and let her voice be heard!!!

Here's a great link if you haven't seen it before - it gives one hope.


Julie Cohen said...

Hooray for lightbulb moments!

I have paid you back for quoting me by referring to your post in my own blog today. So there.

liz fenwick said...

Thanks Julie! It's a great post and so key to where I am at the moment. I have that frizzon of excitement knowing that letting everyone into Madde's head may just bring the story to where it needs to be. I will also be focusing on 'raising the stakes'!

Flowerpot said...

well done Liz - that sounds like just waht you need to get that book going. Hooray! I haven't had any time on my novel this week - journalism has taken over which is great but exhausting and I'm getting withdrawal symptoms!

Debs said...

Oh well done. I'm so glad that you had a lightbulb moment. Thanks for posting Julie Cohen's brilliant advice, I've taken it on board too.

liz fenwick said...

FP so pleased that the journalism is taking off......did you find the couples you needed?

Debs, Julie is filled with brillinat advice and that was so spot on :-)

Amy Appleton said...

Hello Liz,
Glad you're feeling more positive today - those hints from the Headline editor were great, and I agree with you about Laying the Ghost.

That sounds like a tremendous breakthrough with Madde as well. I tend to write in the first person which is fun but does mean I never have the luxury of getting into more than one character's head. Ah well. There's always the next book!

Amy x

JJ said...

Liz, ooh, glad you're looking cheered up. There's an award over at mine for you.

liz fenwick said...

Thanks Amy:-) First person is great fun as I have found out with writing Explosive Dreams for the Dickens Challenge but I do think I feel more comfortable in 3rd!

JJ you are soooooooo lovely. Thank you!

cs harris said...

I got so depressed last week about my writing/career that I chucked it all in for two solid days and spent about 18 hours working in my garden. Unless one is a flaming egotist, the doubts will always come. Since it seems to have brought you to an epiphany, I guess it was worth it!

liz fenwick said...

Hopefully the fix for the balance will work:-) How does the garden look for your attention? Did you return to your writing refreshed? I can't seem to get on to your blog any more. Hope all is well.