Do you have voices in your head? Do they tell you to do crazy things to crazy people? Do they talk to you to sleep at night? That’s fantastic. I’m not here to talk about THOSE kind of voices.
No, I’m here to talk to you about the voices of your story. That’s right, I said voices of your story. Because as I found out during my revision of the Duke’s Trumpet, stories have multiple voices, and every voice can have a different relationship with the audience.
One problem with my book that was really bothering me, was that my story was really two stories in one. I thought it was just confusing to explain in queries and in synopsis and whenever someone asks me the dreadful question of ‘what’s your story about?’ but as I was re-writing it to fix some problems my editor had with it – I realized, it wasn’t just summarizing my story that was complicated. My story was complicated. And not in a tension-filled-juicy way either. So, I began to try and fix the plot.
I plotted for a about a month after my talk with my editor, and I researched a bit too. And just when I was starting to break down into tears every time I thought about the Duke’s Trumpet, just when I was about ready to question my choice of being a writer and wondering if I really had what it takes to be a writer, I realized something. It doesn’t have to be complicated. I can still fit the two stories in one. And I can do that with tweaking the voices of my story.
One of the main problem was my second main character, Bas, acts in my head like a main character. He’s very loud and charismatic and is the worst back seat driver ever. But that’s also what I love about him, I don’t want to change him. I knew I couldn’t change him even if I wanted to. But he was not okay with being the second main character. And unfortunately he is too old to be the main character for the Young Adult category, even if he acts immature.
I realized then that my book can have more than one voice. It just doesn’t have to be the MC and the narrator. Bas could have a voice too. Especially in the first chapter, which I changed so it was all about him and setting up the entire twisted plot that is the Time Traveling Diaries of Sebastien Barkley.
While it may sound like an obvious solution, to have multiple voices in a story, it is very easy to get locked and trapped with just the main character. And I’m having a little bit of fun with having a different relationship with every character that the audience will have with them. As in, I’m playing around with voices so the readers will have a different relationship with each character (but not head-hopping). Some characters will be fun, some will be honest, and some will be dishonest with the readers. It’ll be like a game sort of of who the reader can trust and not trust. And hopefully, if I can pull that off, it will be a more fun reading experience for the audience.
I used to just write without thinking about what I was writing. I used to let the characters lead the way. And while that’s okay for the first few drafts, I find as I’m getting closer to finish and with the high hopes of being published, I have to step up my game a little bit. Luckily my editor is pushing me greatly. None of this was his idea though, which is why I love him. He can point me in the right direction, telling me what needs some work, without giving me ideas.
But yeah, what do you guys think of voices in stories? When you’re reading, what kind of voices do you like to read? What connection do you like to feel with the characters?
Hope to hear your opinions, I always love to hear how other writers write and how readers think and feel about reading.
Keep writing, keep reading,and have a great weekend! Tomorrow I got @KCNealTweets for Celebrity Saturday! And I need a reader to interview on Tuesday the 24th, so let me know if you’d like to be interviewed! Next week I will also post my vlogged review of Pyxis by K.C. Neal so stay tuned!