Wednesday, 6 July 2016

THAT ELUSIVE VOICE

Until we find it, that VOICE we long for will continue to elude us.

James Scott Bell's new book, VOICE - The Secret Power of Great Writing- is a must for every writer.

Granted VOICE defies definition but you'll know it when you hear or read it. Although it is not an easy matter, Bell outdoes himself in clarifying exactly how we can find this mystifying feature.

I am not going to give you a point by point guide from his work because I really want you to get this valuable tool for yourself. And I guarantee - if you take his advice on board - your writing will sing. It genuinely is 'the secret power of great writing'.

Like most of us, I believed this VOICE was mine. You know, my style of writing. And maybe a squidgy little bit is. But mainly it's our main character's voice that escalates our story telling right up there with the cream of the crop. The same goes for a strong secondary character. In other words they become 'flesh and blood characters'.

'I already know that!' I can hear you say. Even so, our revered teacher, Mr Bell, has much more to add to what we have previously thought. As he says, 'it can make a pretty good novel unforgettable.'

Bell goes on to say, 'Editors often say they turned down a book because the VOICE was weak. So how do you find your voice when the very definition is so vague? Is it something that can be developed? Or is it something you're just born with?

Listen to this scary quote from an editorial assistant:
"The type of submission that's the toughest to spot - and the most essential to avoid - is the one that is skilful, competent, literate and ultimately 'forgettable'."  Oh  dear, what an awful tag for your story and mine, too. That's the reason why VOICE is crucial.

Bell is adamant that this thing called VOICE does not proceed from the author alone. He says the aspect of the character and author are symbiotic. That is, they exist in unison and grow together.
Yes, yes, tell me more ....
No, go to Amazon, buy the book and study every detail for yourself. And always ask the Lord to give you understanding and empathy in your work. Your novel may help someone to grow in their Christian walk.

Rita Stella Galieh co-presents a Christian FM radio program broadcast Australia-wide. She has a passion for the Victorian Era with all its intricate undercurrents. And, along with her husband, enjoys performing as a governess in a fun presentation of the etiquette of the era.

She is now in the finicky process of publishing her fifth inspirational historical romance. To find out more about her books, ebooks, Victorian Presentation, and ministry visit: www.ritastellapress.com or friend her on Facebook.

5 comments:

  1. Rita … I've read a couple of novels recently where the voice is playfully unique that I wanted to continue reading simply to enjoy the voice. And they highlighted how influential the voice is to the enjoyment of a story.

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  2. Yes, I know what you mean, Ian. I've also just finished a novel like that. In fact the author wrote like a female Mike Hammer of the detective series. It was so right for the genre.

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  3. Voice: you know it when you see it, but it's so hard to define, which makes it hard to teach and hard to develop.

    And so many novels (especially, I'm sorry to say, Christian romance) do have a samey voice, which makes it refreshing when I find one that where there is a compelling and original voice. Ian's right - a unique voice makes a novel so much more enjoyable.

    Thanks for the post - I must check out this book!

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  4. I am in the process of rereading it, Iola. At the same time I am reediting a couple of manuscripts in which I will be using some of Bell's techniques. Writing is sure something about which you can never quit learning enough. And then more!

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  5. Interesting post. Thanks for telling us about this book Rita. Voice is critical.

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