Shannon Stacey

But why is the voice gone?

Yesterday, I was listening to a workshop from last year’s Nationals, and one thing that stood out to me was JAK saying (and I paraphrase) that a writer’s voice is like an accent—you can’t hear your own. I think I more or less agree with that, but I think you can hear the lack of your accent. Maybe like when I lived in Missouri and deliberately tried to unaccent myself so people would stop making me say “Pahk the cah in Hahvahd Yahd”. It’s just comes out…flat.

So I’m working, primarily, on three projects right now, and they’re all very different. Becoming Miss Becky is a historical western romantic comedy, DG3 (Gallagher’s book) is an action-adventure romance which everybody else will call a romantic suspense *g*, and D&D’s a contemporary rom com, but they’re all told with my “accent” and the language feels natural to me.

It’s the fourth one I’m tinkering with that’s killing me. It’s a contemporary series romance, and I love the story. Love the characters, love the arcs, love the whole damn thing. But when I read back, it’s as though it’s being written by somebody with a different accent or by me, but with my fitting-in-to-Missouri accent. It just sounds flat. I’m told it doesn’t and that it’s just me, but the bottom line is that, while you may not be able to hear your own voice, you can hear the lack of it. And it’s lacking.

Honestly, I’d scrap the entire project, but I love this story, and it just will not go away and leave me alone. I’m seriously considering trying to write this one drunk.


4 comments to “But why is the voice gone?”

  1. Charlene
      · July 24th, 2007 at 10:59 am · Link

    Eat some Doritos, get a nice Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, and think about what you could put into the story that’s totally you. ATVs, a favorite movie, some kind of thing that could be a running gag or theme that’s you. Make you feel more like it’s got your personality.

  2. Jaci Burton
      · July 24th, 2007 at 12:06 pm · Link

    remember that proposal I wrote that I thought was utter crap?

    just sayin


  3. Michelle
      · July 24th, 2007 at 12:13 pm · Link

    Hey Shan – I’ve designated you as a Rockin Wench Blogger. :cheesy: Not sure why my trackback here isn’t working.

  4. Melani Blazer
      · July 24th, 2007 at 1:16 pm · Link

    I really doubt it’s as flat as you say–it’s just different and you’re seeing it as a voice thing It’s probably a book/tone thing. Betcha. Serious.

    Push through it. And your friends are always willing to read then bash you upside the head and ask you what you’re smoking to say that about it. :whip:

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