Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Writer's Voice, Insane Asylums, and Favorite Authors, oh my!

Today I want to start my writing with a quote: "Writing a novel is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum" - Gracie Harmon.

That says it all to those of us who have stories, characters, settings, conversations, and ideas for books running around in our head!  I get distracted easily because I can't filter out background noises - I struggle with focusing on the issue at hand.  Some writers can write while listening to music...not me, I have to have silence. The writing schedule I made has helped keep me focused. With writing a newspaper column, working on genealogy, writing nonfiction stories and working on a fictional story of my great-grandmother's life, and now a blog, each day of my schedule is geared to what I need to be writing. And it's working.

Speaking of insane asylums.....

I finished 3 books over the past 2 weeks. JILLIAN KENT'S "Secrets of the Heart" is a Regency romance set in 1817 Yorkshire, England. The plot takes readers into the world of old time insane asylums and medical issues. I plan to buy book two of Kent's series coming in 2012. 

MARGARET BROWNLEY'S "A Vision of Lucy" is a great read about 1878 Texas. The heroine is a photographer who gets into trouble every where she goes. Ms. Brownley does a great job feeding readers historically accurate accounts of old time photography.

Sadly, the last book I started reading....I can't stand! I will refrain from mentioning the author (man or woman) and anything about the book. I've never bought a book by this author and when I saw the book cover and the title, it grabbed my attention and I thought it would be exactly what I love to read. I started reading it but by the end of the first chapter I was done. The author uses choppy sentences and the author's voice interferes with the flow of the story. I hung tight and kept reading, but closed the book by chapter six. I tried to like it, but I'll never buy anything the author writes again.

That proves that an author's "voice" is important. A writer's voice is the style and tone in which he or she uses words, sentences, ideas and themes to write a story. Sometimes a writer uses lots of humor in a light-hearted manner to tell a good story. Sometimes they may use a straightforward, journalist approach to tell the story.

If you read books, then I'm sure you have favorite authors. That's because that writer's voice speaks to you in the perfect way while telling their stories. There are many ways in which to tell a story and every writer has their own unique way of telling it. To find your voice as a writer you must write, write, and write some more. As you do, your unique "voice" will shine thrugh in the stories you tell.

My favorite authors? NICKOLAS SPARKS is one who can tell an emotionally-charged story & bring tears to my eyes or shouts of joy every time! Gee, I'd love to write like he does.

In the world of historical inspirational romance, VICKIE MCDONOUGH, a writer in Oklahoma, and whom I've had the pleasure of meeting, is another one of my fav authors. She can tell a story! Through her voice she uses humor and an array of likeable characters to tell a great historical romance. Also, SHARLENE MACLAREN, DEANNE GIST, KAREN WITEMEYER, CARA LYNN JAMES, and KIM VOGEL SAWYER write wonderful historical inspy romances. I buy them every time they pub a new book.

For women's fiction, my favorite author is SARAH ADDISON ALLEN. Oh my, in the world of magical, spellbinding charm, she brings it on! I'll buy every book she writes. And for paranormal books, of course, I love the STEPHENIE MEYER books ~ her Twilight series is wonderful. I have many fav authors who writes Christian self-help books as well as historical reference books. This is just a taste of those who write books that stay on my keeper shelf.
I hope you read one of your favorite author's books while staying out of the heatwave.
blessings ~ Karen Utter Jennings