steering the craft

the last word about first person POV

 

I've heard it too many times from too many writers: Isn’t first person easier than writing in third? And isn't writing in the first person more intimate that writing in third? Doesn’t first person have more voice than writing in third?

Nope, no, and not so, my friends. And yet these notions persist. This week I want to put them to bed, once and for all. We’ll bust the myths and examine just how much complexity lurks in this deceptively simple way of telling a tale.

Lots to say about this topic! Expect some discussion of one of my favorite butlers in literature, too. 


My weekly livestream happens on Wednesdays at 1 PM Pacific. Come live and participate! Or catch the replays here on the blog.

To watch live and ask questions, you can join the Path of the Storyteller Facebook group right here.

And subscribe to the YouTube channel here. 

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that thing called voice

livestream replays voice Mar 18, 2021
 

Editors love it, agents “know it when they see it,” but writers are often left wondering: What is voice? Do I have one? If not, where do I go to get one?

Voice is the number one thing editors look for, so why is it such a mystery? Possibly because people mistake “voice” as being something akin to “talent” – an intangible quality you are either born with, or not.

Not so, I say! In fact, my take on voice is this: Voice is not something you have. It’s something you do.

To find out what I mean, join me on this week’s livestream. Let’s unravel this topic and learn how to make your authorial “voice” something to crow about!


My weekly livestream is on Wednesdays at 1 PM Pacific. Come live and participate! Or catch the replays here on the blog.

To watch live and ask questions, you can join the Path of the Storyteller Facebook group right here.

Or subscribe to the YouTube channel here. 

Continue Reading...

that voice

I played a rousing Zoom-hosted game of Ex Libris last night with some dear friends on the opposite coast. Do you know that game? It is so fun, so writerly, and really a fantastic exercise in voice

I’ll tell you how to play in a minute, but first let me define what I mean by voice. 

Voice is the metaphysics of style. The prose style you create for a book has a tone and personality all its own. It’s why a sentence of Jane Austen is distinguishable at a glance from a sentence of Tolkien. You’ll never answer the phone and think Salinger is talking when, in fact, it is Hemingway. 

Word choice, sentence and paragraph rhythms, the kinds of details chosen, the way of seeing the world that is conveyed by what is said — all of these are part of voice. Together, they add up to a quality all great writing has: the unmistakable feeling that there is an actual, living personality on the other side of...

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