Great article today on Voice over at Rachelle Gardner's blog.
As she says, voice is difficult to master. It's one of many aspects of writing that I can see improving in my own work, while at the same time I know I have a long way yet to go.
I think one thing that helps is finally starting to narrow down what I want to say. Having a unique voice comes in part from having unique goals, and I think I understand my own goals much better now than I did five years ago... or even one year ago.
Annie (my current character) was born out of meditating on the things I want to say and the ideas I want to explore, and I think of all my characters she has the most unique voice yet.
A big thanks to Rachelle Gardner for the inspiring post!
I was thinking about the idea of time yesterday and realizing how many of my story ideas include plots or sub-plots having to do with the manipulation of time. Some involve time travel, others involve places that exist outside of our time, and one was about infinite worlds moving in different directions, each on its own time line, and intersecting at key points to allow for jumping between worlds. (This last also had vampires, which is probably why I haven't seriously planned to write it—there's a bit of over-saturation in the market already.)
Then I realized that so many of the stories I love play with time. I grew up watching Back to the Future. I always wanted to go to Narnia, and while time isn't a huge factor in the majority of the Narnian plots, it is a big deal when traveling between that world and ours. And then, one of my favorite Harry Potter books is The Prisoner of Azkaban, which uses time travel very effectively.
Turns out the book I'm reading right now (Hexwood by Diana Wynne Jones) has a great deal to do with time as well.
So I'm not alone in my interest for the subject. I think perhaps I feel drawn to write about time manipulation precisely because it is (at least as far as I am aware—I'm no physicist) totally impossible. The business of the writer is “what if.” With time, there are so many “what ifs.”
I remember back in middle school lying awake at night trying to understand higher dimensions. Because we can't easily visualize a fourth dimension, we often speak of time as a line. I imagined the three dimensions we know best shrinking to a dot on that line. The fifth dimension spread out in front of me in my mind's eye: the plane in which our time line lived—a whole collection of alternate realities.
That's a lot of “what if” to play with.
Perhaps one day I will get tired of thinking of time as a changeable aspect of a story, but until then I plan to enjoy manipulating time. Is there anything you want to see an author do with regards to time?
The hubby and I have moved, and moreover, we have settled in. I LOVE the new place. It's quiet, it has sunlight, it's pretty and not run-down.
The only downside: though it has more square footage and more rooms (and thus more walls), somehow there seems to be less space. I'm not quite sure how that happened. All I know is that there is one round table that refuses to fit anywhere. Also, the kitchen really is smaller, but I've found ways to work around that. Helps that the kitchen is much more open than in the old place.
I'm happy here. And of equal importance: the hubby and the kitty are happy too.
Question of the day: How do you know you're an incurable book lover? Answer: When moving to a new town you get a new library card at the local branch before seeing to any other change-of-address business. I've already gobbled up two of the four books I borrowed on Thursday.
I have found over time that there are certain classes of objects that seem to break whenever I come near them. I noticed this first with watches. I have been through countless wristwatches. They never fail to fail. Either I get them wet and they stop working, or the strap breaks, or they just die, or in the rare case where they don't actually break, they end up pinching uncomfortably and I get rid of them. I couldn't keep a wristwatch if you paid me good money to do it.
Unfortunately I'm finding a similar trend with computers. I have a vampiric touch. Perfectly good, working machines become bloodsucking, rage-inducing monsters under my hand. And it's not even my fault!
Remember when I got a new computer a few months ago? I was very excited. I loved everything about it. Being that it was store built instead of home built I hoped that all the pieces would work well together and not be prone to spontaneous crashes.
But no. It would seem that is not the case. After the latest windows update the crashes began. Then the antivirus software had a fit (and not because I had a virus) and when I tried to reinstall the antivirus the crashes got worse until the computer was mostly unusable. So I decided it was time to reinstall the whole OS from scratch, and somehow in the process the computer eroded even more. And now it won't turn on at all.
I've had this computer for four months. I've already had to replace the video card. Now I'll be getting the motherboard and memory replaced as well. At this rate there will be nothing left of the original computer come fall.
Oh well. At least I can still get some writing done on the laptop or my hubby's computer. This book WILL be written. I will not accept the alternative.
Anyway, what's been going on with you this past month?
*The final line from The Lord of the Rings is always an appropriate greeting.