It looks like ICRS fever has deadened the comments section of this, and many other blogs. ICRS is a HUGE Christian retail extravaganza taking place in Orlando, Florida. Editors, authors, agents, store owners, publishers, distributors, and all aspects of the Christian music industry gather there each year to see what's new, what's hot, what's wonderful in Christian retail.
It's thrilling to me that, while I'm not actually participating this year, I have, for the first time, people there representing me and my books! My fantastic agent is there, as are both my publishers and editors. It's very exciting as I try to imagine what all goes on there.
Please pray for ICRS and the people there. Pray for safety in traveling and in all they do. Also, pray that God's will be done on every level of the event. It's so easy to get caught up in the fun, dazzle, and shear volume of what's out there, but the heart of these people is to glorify God though various means, and to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world.
And, after you finish praying, read on for the second (and final) installment of Marica Lee Laycock's guest post on Finding Your Voice. It's one of the "trickiest" aspects of writing, I think, largely because it's something that must be developed over time. Read on for more fab info on voice.
Finding Your Voice Part 2
Think of three of your favourite authors. If you picked up a book by each one with a blank cover that did not reveal their names, could you tell which book was written by which author? Chances are it would be easy, because each has a distinct way of telling a story. They use words differently, sentence length and structure will vary, and the very tone of the writing will give them away.
So how do you develop your own voice? Young writers, like young painters, often find themselves copying the voice of a master. Years ago I wrote a short piece about my daughter that still makes me chuckle when I read it because it is so obvious I was reading a lot of Walter Wangerin Jr.’s work. I can hear his ‘voice’ in the story. That’s not all bad. As a painter learns the craft by imitating the masters, so we too as writers can learn a lot by imitating the master writers. But as young painters move beyond their masters, so we must move beyond our favourite authors.
How? The answer is simple, yet difficult. It’s kind of like trying to be humble – the very act of trying can create the opposite affect. The best way to make it happen is to simply relax and write. Write in all kinds of genres and write just for fun. Write a blog. Write a letter. Try free-fall writing. And poetry – write poetry even if you don’t think you can. Write from your heart, write with the mind and soul that God has uniquely given you. Write with integrity and honesty.
Over time your voice will shine through because over time you will discover who you are as a person, as a child of God and as a writer. As you face the challenges of that discovery, be brave enough to let “you” out onto the page. It’s what your readers are looking for – your voice, your way of putting words into concrete form. The more open and vulnerable you are on the page, the stronger your voice will be.
And don’t worry. As a child matures into an adult, your work will mature with the ring of your own voice. Write. And just let it happen.
Remember, you can visit Marcia on her website: http://www.vinemarc.com/marcialaycock.htm
She also has a book trailer for her novel One Smooth Stone on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkDhsqDkPic
Visit, leave a comment, and rate the trailer!
I love these book trailers. I think I see a future blog post about book trailers - a how to, and a who does them post.... sound good?
Okay all you non-ICRS attenders. Get your thinking caps on and share with us your experience with Voice. What's yours? How did you develop it? What's distinctive about your voice? How have you managed to make your voice stand out without drowning your characters?
This is a critical aspect of writing, and I know we can all learn from each other here. Don't be shy!
I bid you good writing.