Wednesday, September 4, 2013

IWSG, Voice equals Character

Welcome to Alex J. Cavanuagh's baby, IWSG. I've decided to attempt to participate in this blog hop every month. The last couple years has been a real struggle for me in doing so due to illness. I am better now and pacing myself so that I don't over do. Once you have finished my offering, I encourage you to click the link and visit others who are participating.

Voice equals Character:
For the past few months I've been working on a resurrected short story that I started before I got sick. This has been a huge struggle for me. It is in first person and the main character is not human. That meant I had to put myself inside a birds brain literally, though she is magical so she's not an ordinary hen, and I had to try to view the world from her perspective. I can't fly so you can imagine for yourself some of that challenge. On top of it, I chose to write in 1st person. My character seemed to demand this. Did I tell you I'm not comfortable writing in 1st person. Well, I'm not.

So there you have it. Why did I go to this trouble. Because this story spoke to me. I wanted something a little different than what is out there in fantasy currently and I was drawn to this character.

I bet you've heard of voice when it comes to writers. We all have our own. But I want to stretch that a little further. Each story I write seems to take on a life of it's own and therefore speaks a little differently to me and I interpret it a little differently for the reader. Voice.

One of the biggest obstacles to 1st person is knowing when you are telling the story too much. The reader needs to feel as if they are experiencing the story which is known as showing. For me this was solved when I added a 3rd character. That character was so strange that my main protagonist couldn't help noticing.

Here's her picture that I drew a couple years ago. Her name is Anastasia Phoenix.

I'm not going to go into great big long details, only to put this little tidbit out there. Voice absolutely equals character.

Anastasia is almost ready for my editor and then she will become an e-book.


Copyright 2013


Vikki ( said...

Just stopping by from the IWSG :)

I know EXACTLY what you mean about first person, i don't like it because i feel that all my characters then end up sounding like me! lol

Saying that, I'm just about to start a novel that has chapters of first person in it...i'll just have to grit my teeth lol

Good luck honey!


Siv Ottem said...

Hi Nancy!
Glad to see that you are feeling better and welcome to IWSG! Good luk with finding your characters voice, I look forward to hearing more about Anastasia :)

N. R. Williams said...

Nice to meet you Vikki, look forward to hearing more from you.

Hi Siv,

Just a note folks. They are turning off the power any minute now, so I'll be by later today.

nissa_loves_cats said...


I know how illness can interfere with one's writing. I recently developed Chronic Kidney Disease and it made me so tired all the time that I sometimes too naps twice a day. Too tired to even THINK about my writing.

And then to deal with my health problems I had to go on an ultra-strict low carbohydrate diet which means I actually had to cook and plan meals obsessively--- another distraction from writing.

I actually like writing in first person, but only so long as the character has a distinctive voice that is different from my own. I sometimes write a bit of the story in first person even when I don't intend to leave it that way, just to get a feel for the character.

Nissa Annakindt

Chrys Fey said...

Hello! I am also a brand new member to the IWSG. I am sorry to hear about your illness. But I am happy that you're finding your way back to writing. :)

I really loved this post! Voice IS character, and it is so important! I have noticed that my voice changes slightly from story to story too, because each story is different, and each protagonist demands a unique voice.

Your short story truly sounds wonderful! I love the concept!! :) Good luck with it!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I wouldn't be comfortable writing first person either. But it sounds as if you are aware of the challenges and have risen to the occasion.
Welcome back to the IWSG!

Rachna Chhabria said...

When I first heard about voice I was slightly baffled. But, with time I understand what it meant. Voice is what differentiates one writer from another.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I so get it, Nancy. I love challenging myself. I've written in every voice except 2nd. I've also tried deep POV, which was harder than I thought it would be. Bravo for pushing yourself. Yes! Voice equals character. Always.

Diane Burton said...

Illness can really get you down, not just physically but emotionally, too. Creativity is difficult and sometimes impossible to tap into. Best wishes on your recovery and your writing.

N. R. Williams said...

So many new people.

Hi Nissa
I'm so sorry for your illness. Nice to meet you though.

Hi Chrys
Yes, each protagonist is unique and we must do them justice by interpreting their story. Thanks for coming by.

Hi Alex
I have yet to read your stories. Something to look forward to.

Hi Rachna
I agree, voice was such a mystery until I realized that we each have our own voice because we are unique people, just as our characters are unique, or should be.

Hi Joylene
Well, you've got me for sure. I write in 3rd person and now in 1st. I don't think I'll attempt any others.

Hi Diane
I think illness and its after math can stop the creative person cold. I hope to control this problem for the good.

Thanks everyone for coming by. As I mentioned in my above post, we are having power issues here. The transformer blew, so I will only have a short time at night. But I'll get to you all by the end of the week.

Adrienne Reiter said...

I'm new to IWSG. I almost always write in the first person. It's not easy but the hyper active voice just resonates with me.

Congrats on the progress with your story! Would love to check out your e-book once it's available. ;)

Southpaw said...

First person is hard! The MS I'm finishing up is the first, first person one for me. It's did not get easier as I wrote it either! Best of luck.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Adrienne
Thanks...I applaud your hyper first person writing abilities.

Hi Holly
I don't think 1st person will ever be easy for me.

Thank you both for coming by.

Denise Covey said...

Hello Nancy. Voice definitely equals character. You've taken on a big one here. I actually love stories in first person. Love the artwork!

Hope you are well.

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Denise.