Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Welcome Guest Blogger - Marcia Lee Laycock

Marcia Lee Laycock was raised on an island in Lake Huron, ran away to Alaska and then the Yukon, had a “road to Mayo” conversion in 1982, leaped by faith into Briercrest Bible College with her husband in 1985 and landed in the “promised land” of central Alberta in 1988.
She's also had the privilege of living a few miles south of the Arctic Circle (Dawson City Yukon) and a couple of degrees south of the equator (Papua New Guinea).
Marcia is the author of One Smooth stone. This book won the New Canadian Author Contest sponsored by Castle Quay Books and The Word Guild
"One Smooth Stone is a crackling good tale of crime and punishment, damnation and redemption, that is at once grimly real and deeply hopeful." (Mark Buchanan, author of The Rest of God and Hidden in Plain Sight.)
You can visit Marcia at her web site:

Marcia has agreed to tackle the tricky topic of voice. Many writers new to the craft have questions about voice. What is it? How do I attain a unique voice? In her two part guest blog, Marcia begins to answer these, and other questions.
Finding Your Voice Part 1

The voice coming out of the recorder did not sound like me. I wrinkled my nose. I wasn’t sure I liked the sound of it. But the interviewer laughed. “Everyone I interview says the same thing. Keep in mind, this is an electronic version of your voice. It’s not the real thing.”

That got me thinking. What is the “real thing” in terms of my “voice” as a writer? Everyone tells us we have to have one, and that it must be strong and distinctive. But how do you know when it’s good enough? How do you know if you even have one?

First of all, yes, you do have a voice. It’s an amazing thing, but each of us is unique and our work reveals that uniqueness. Just look at the work produced for a single theme in a writing contest. Even if the parameters are narrow and the guidelines restrictive, the variety that results is amazing. Each of us comes to the writing with our own experiences, our own perspectives, our own stories, and we tell them with our own distinct voices.

To some extent your voice is determined by the story. For instance, if you are a female writer using the point of view of a male protagonist, your voice will be different than if the protagonist were female. Sometimes the voice is determined by the characters you create. I wrote a story some time ago about a pastor’s wife. She was quite serious about life and the voice reflected that. As the story unfolded another character emerged who was a lot of fun – she was never on time, often disorganized and talked non-stop. Everyone loved her. Her voice was so distinct she began to take over the story.

Underlying the characters is your own voice, and this is where things get a little tricky. I’ll discuss that next time.
What's your voice?
Chime in on the comments section of the blog!
I bid you good writing.

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