Finding your voice in writing can be a difficult thing at best. I recently wrote a first draft, which turned into fifteen drafts, that I am conflicted over in regards to voice. While I feel the story doesn’t need changes, members of my children’s critique group didn’t like the voice I chose to use. It’s the story of an eight year old boys worst Thanksgiving told by him, but from his adult perspective. It suits the story. However, those that didn’t like my “voice” felt that it would be better suited for a magazine. There were others who loved it and thought that areas needed to be tightened up.
I don’t want this to turn into an ego-fest. However, when I mentioned this to my friend John, he said “critique is best given and taken in when one has no ego attachment to what is being shared.”
Those are the wisest words I have heard in quite some time.
I am open to constructive criticism and appreciate it. It makes me a better and more determined writer. Yet, the voice thing bugs me. Does all picturebooks geared to the seven to ten year old HAVE to come from their voice? Why can’t it come from an older voice looking back?
All writers have a story to tell. We are always looking for ways to make those words that pour forth from us on a daily basis unique. Why? So that we can achieve our Holy Grail–the publishing contract.
I don’t know what it will be, but I am letting it sit for a month or so. This one particular story that it. It needs a break and I need a break from it. I feel so strongly about it and have never said that about anything else I have written. It is eloquent–those words I borrow from my critique group–something I have never thought to attach to anything I have done.
So, today, I am contemplating my voice and how I vocalize my writing. It’s time to head to the library and do some research. Tomorrow, I will give myself a birthday treat and head to the bookstore to read and drink coffee until my hearts content. Maybe I will be able to rationalize my voice conflicts with the works of others.