Girls Write Out
Friday, May 14, 2010
(My New Kitchen, unrelated to post. LOL)
Author Voice

I'm not much of a teacher when it comes to writing, but there are two things I'm passionate about when it comes to being an author. One is passion -- yes, I'm passionate about passion. Meaning, if you're writing to sell to the market, you're only going to be a follower. Don't bother. Where does your OWN passion come from? (Ending a sentence in a proposition perhaps?)

I'm most passionate about judgmental attitudes in the church. Because I find there is a reason people do everything. Granted, it may not be a great reason, but still, the motives are there. The more people cling to "rules" rather than look at people's pain, the weaker their faith seems to me. That may not be your stance, but then, you can write your own books.

The second thing I'm passionate about is "voice". Anyone who has ever written a book has had an editor mess with their "voice". The results are painful. Anne Tyler is one of those authors whose subject matter may not appeal to me, but I will always read her because of her voice. She plays with words and breaks the rules -- and the results are fantastic.

I'm no Anne Tyler, but I have a distinct voice when I write. For me, I "hear" the rhythm of the words so when someone stops that flow or "beat", it messes with my mind. I'm currently rewriting a book. When I look at the edited version, there's nothing of "me" left in it, and it's dry and depressing and worst of all the reason I wrote the book is missing from its central point. In the end, the publisher and I mutually decided not to put the book out, but listen, I paid my dues. I wrote the way I had to write for publishers for many years and still do in a sense. But there are certain things I won't compromise on now.

Oh I may make less money and not speak as well to the market, but that's not my goal. My goal is to say what needs to be said -- and that others are afraid to say. I'm missing that gene. What won't you compromise on when you read a story?
posted at 12:19 PM  
  Comments (13)
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At 1:04 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Boring. Especially my own. Yours are never boring, Kris, and I love your writing style.

At 1:52 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Oh Cheryl, you're so full of garbage!!! But I love you anyway.

At 3:25 PM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

Love the kitchen!!

I agree with Cheryl, love your voice! What won't I put up with as a reader? Hmm... I'm a horrible reader now that I'm a writer.

I want a genuine story. Tis all. :)


At 4:42 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

I need compelling characters. Even if it's mediocre writing, I'll keep reading if I feel connected to the characters.

At 5:23 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Shannon, I'm the same way. I can even put up with head-hopping, just give me great characters.

At 7:56 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

I won't put up with long paragraphs without dialogue, poor writing, boring story, or cliched characters.

At 1:44 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

I don't like cliched characters--especially ones that are too holy and perfect. I want them quirky and real.

P.S. Love the kitchen.

At 1:53 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

P.P.S. I like your voice. It's why your books are so fun to read aloud to my teenage daughter. She hates to read, but will listen to one of your books when she's sick and lying on the couch. She liked SPLIT ENDS and WHAT A GIRLS WANTS.

At 11:08 AM, Blogger Faith Chats said...

I need conflict that doesn't get resolved in a neat, nice package. Once I read a story where one of the stories resolved with, "Wait, let me explain--." "No, it's okay, I totally understand." She did? I didn't! I took me forever to finish the last few pages and I haven't read anything by her again :)

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Kameko said...

Beautiful kitchen!

As a reader, not writer, I need characters that I can believe in, that I can relate to & can draw me in so that when the story ends, I'm left wanting more. We all know there was only one perfect Person that walked this earth, so why try to make a character something they can never be? We all have our flaws, but it is what we do with those flaws that determine who we are.


At 2:19 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

I think there are two reasons writers write too perfect characters. One, is that they want to set an example and show readers how we SHOULD act. The thing is, I think we all know how we SHOULD act, don't we? But we need truth in our fiction.

The second reason is I really do think some writers don't have a realistic view of themselves or what it means to be a Christian. Deborah Raney is probably the single nicest person on the planet. I mean, like she probably goes right to the good in everyone first -- and yet her characters are VERY real So if you're writing perfect characters and your name isn't Deb Raney, we need to talk. LOL

I enjoyed seeing all your answers. I love seeing how readers interact with a book. That's the best part of an edit, you get to see what came across and what didn't.

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Carla Gade said...

I hear you, Kristen. Passion, motives, and character authenticity are important to me.

I also do expect the writer to have skill in their actual writing. Too many times I've picked up a book by a popular multi-published author and their writing seems lazy to me. Almost like they never bothered to polish some of the first draft. That really dissapoints me since I read to enjoy the novel and as a learner of how to write novels as well.

At 9:03 AM, Blogger Robin Caroll said...

Kitchen looks awesome!

I hate when I'm reading and the scenario is so far out in left field that I can't suspend my disbelief any longer.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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