Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Voices In My Head

One of the many reasons I heart my writing friends? Because I can have a post title like that, and none of you will think I need to be committed. Because you guys hear the voices, too. And as writers, we all know that the stronger the voices, the better the writing!

In my last post I talked about juggling projects, and a lot of you commented that I was really lucky to be able to work on multiple projects at once, because it's hard to switch back and forth from the voice of one book to another. And honestly, I haven't had a strong voice for both. The new urban fantasy voice is so strong, it kind of flows from my fingertips almost without conscious thought. The middle grade is different though. It's a project I'm working on for fun with my son, but I've never written for kids and so the voice has been hard to pin down. I keep alternating between a British voice (from my Tolkien and C.S. Lewis saturated youth) and a more modern voice.

So, I got to thinking, how do you guys handle voice? Does it always come from that inspired writery place in your heart, or do you have to purposefully form it? And when you have to work on it, what's your best method for capturing it? Do tell!

Also, I was delighted and honored to receive the Liebster Blog Award from the fabulous Lora Rivera! Thanks, Lora! If you guys haven't checked out her blog, you should pop over. Lora is a former agent turned writer, so she has an insider's perspective on the industry. And she's just a super cool chic!

Isn't it so cute? Liebster is German, and translates into something like favorite or dearest. There were various definitions online, but basically it is reserved for someone you think rocks. As a recipient of the award, I am asked to pass along to five bloggers, who hopefully will spread the love some more! But, I'm going to break the rules and double up (blame it on my rebellious streak). Even at ten, it's near impossible to pick since all of you guys rock so hard, but here it is:

Jennifer Hillier
Alex Cavanaugh
Rachna Chhabria
Michelle Fayard
Carol Riggs
Talli Roland
Beth Sanderson
Erica and Christy
The Happy Whisk
Meredith Moore

I encourage you to haunt these blogs like I do! Hope you guys have a great week! Write hard, be happy!


  1. Aw, thank you so much, Alexia! Such a cute award--you definitely deserved it! I'm dealing with voice in my revisions right now. Some of it comes naturally, but I'm trying to punch it up as I revise.

  2. Congrats on the award, Alexia.
    As for voice, once I know what my project is, I typically gestate on it from the time I move away from the computer until the next day. By then, my voice/muse/whatever has usually worked out the details of where the story needs to be. All I have to do then is write it down.
    Take care,


  3. I usually think of a type of kid I've seen in a movie and approach the story from his/her eyes (and picture said kid talking about it). Makes it much easier to write!

  4. Congrats on getting the Liebster award! Voice comes super naturally for me in first person, but not so well in third. Love the post's title, by the way!

  5. Congratulations on the award, Alexia, and thank you so much for sharing it with me! :)

    As for voice, it IS hard. Mine doesn't come out till revisions, when I can really dig into making the writing shiny. But the only way I can channel it is by reading the chapters before, and sometimes, not even that works.

  6. If the voice isn’t flowing naturally for me, I know it’s a sign that now isn’t the time for me to be working on that particular manuscript. And congratulations on receiving the Liebster Blog award from Lora Rivera! I am honored that I’m one of the people you passed it along to and will be stopping by the other recipients’ blogs.

  7. Congrats on the award, and thanks for passing it on to me. How sweet! Hmm, I've never had much trouble changing the voice until I made a couple really different characters--had to concentrate until I got used to the new one, after I switched! Had to keep going back and weeding out things that sneaked in from character #1. :)

  8. Congrats on the award, Alexia :D I find it difficult to switch between voices if I'm changing projects. Usually what I have to do it distance myself from all projects for a little while, so I can approach one with fresh eyes and it makes it easier to find the voice again.

  9. Thanks for the award and congrats to you.

    My favorite is when I'm writing at my desk and a character says something that makes me laugh out loud.

    Love that.

    Have a groovy day and Happy Writing.

  10. Congratulations on the award and thanks so much for passing it along to me. You rock!

    I've always been a little unsure of my voice. I mean, I've been told by certain people that they liked it, but I never seem to feel like I can nail it down. It's like smoke. I know it's there, but I can never grasp it. Ya know?

  11. are a sweetheart. Congrats for the award and thanks for passing it to me.

    So far I have been pretty okay with voices. Though, I feel I need to work harder to make it stand out.

  12. Thank you!
    And if there's a secret to voice, I have no idea what it is.
    Saw on another blogger's site you won a book - congratulations.

  13. Voices are one of those hard-to-pin-down, life-giving parts of writing. I think you'll find the right voice, though. Just keep feeling your way around your WIP and you're sure to find it. Maybe try changing POV several times on a scene you've already written, as an experiment....

    And woo-hoo! Ten more blogs to check out. Excellent. <3 Lora

  14. For me, the voice is almost predetermined. If it's not coming naturally, I play around until I find one that works for both me and the project. I'm sure once you become more comfortable with your middle grade work, the voice will start to flow a bit easier. Congrats on the Liebster Award and best of luck!

  15. I can relate to the voices in my head when I'm writing a manuscript!

    It took me a few years to figure out voice. The more I write, the better I got.

    Congratulations on your award!

  16. Congrats on the award. Cute blog, too! I can have voice, but I can't do multiple wips without worrying about confusing them. BUT, I have wanted to try it, I've been too scared before. Maybe I should? <3 a new follower

  17. Yay! Thanks so much, Alexia.

    Voice is a funny thing and it took me awhile to find mine. I tried to be quite serious and writerly in the beginning, then I realised that wasn't me!

  18. Congrats on the award.

    I have a few unfinished novels, and they're like that because I couldn't find the voice. I like to have the voice come naturally to me. I do have a drawer manuscript that spawned two of my current wips, so it's possible to rewrite something in a brand new, stronger voice.

  19. Congrats! Voice is hard. I try to put myself in teh story like I'm there watching it unfold.

  20. Congrats! Voice is hard. I try to put myself in the story like I'm there watching it unfold.

  21. congrats on your award and to those you passed it on to. Voice takes courage to write and it sometimes takes a bit of research if it's a particular character's voice.

  22. Voice has to be very strong and very original with the piece. It has to come straight from the character. I can't create it or force it.


I love talking with friends new and old! What's on your mind?