Stations of the Cross in Groom,Texas

Stations of the Cross in Groom,Texas
Reason I Live

Friday, October 4, 2013

Writer's Voice Part II

"Polly," my friend from the South drawled in her soft sweet voice, "you are discouraged because this edit has wiped out  your voice." She handed me a box of Kleenex.

"You know what voice is?" I wiped my tears and sniffed. "I've taught on voice, but I couldn't see or hear it in my own work. It's funny that  you should discover that and I'm glad you did. Can you help me?"

"Of course, this editor has begun to insert her own voice into your work and I can see it clearly, the difference between the two of you. You talk like you are from the west, this editor is from the east and she's inserting words that you don't use in  your everyday speech. Remember, your husband once told you to write like you talk. Don't try to pick up vocabulary you don't ordinarily use." Jodie continued, "Every time I read something that  you've written, I can tell that you did it and I can also "hear" when someone has changed something that isn't you."

"Hmmm you can "hear"?

"There's a cadence to your writing and an expected way that only you do things. As  you bring your characters to life, they can be heard by the reader. For me, it's a heart thing. Heart to heart,  ya know sweet thing?" Jodie hugged me. "There's critiques and edits that help your work sing with constructive criticism but you should never change things if it's cold and unfeeling delivery or you don't understand what the editor has done." Smiling, she patted my hand, "You aren't Jim or Jodie, you're Paulette. Don't forget that fiction is different than non-fiction. You can take a few more liberties with fiction and someone that doesn't understand the differences, should not be editing your work. It will only discourage you. This editor doesn't have a  handle on the fiction yet. But, I will give her credit, she is excellent in her editing for punctuation. By the way, I can always tell when you are tired when you write your beginning drafts."

 "How so?" I raised an eyebrow.

Jodie laughed, "You get messy with your punctuation, especially dialogue."

Her warm honey words soothed my troubled heart and fed my soul. It was a deep southern love and care for me that struck me most. She was being her self and her personality is predictable. Just like our writing should be.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Voice of a Writer

It's fall again and a subject that consistently comes up in the writer's world that I live in is the voice of a writer. I find it in blogs, notes, speaking engagements, and coffee chatter. It seems that this is the time of year that we all settle in and begin to write more after conferences, vacations, and school starting back up.

The basic things are shared, but the important thing is...Do you sound like you? We all know what Jerry Jenkins sounds like and Francine Rivers, but do you know you? Don't try so hard, it'll come. The more you write, the more your heart will sing. I can't tell you how your voice will sound but the secret is to write, write, and then write some more. Write what God invites  you to, write what brings you joy, health, healing, and   positive affirmation. You will be satisfied, I promise as you write...the end.

I'm praying for you and I offer that you ask your creator to give you the special voice that he intended for you to have in your writing. Come with me to the waterfall and let's ask Him together.

"Father I ask that you would give my writer friends and me a clear sounding voice, a call, to come and learn of you and your Son, Jesus Christ. I want people to be able to pick up a book by Paulette L. Harris and say, yes, that's a person that writes, uniquely, individually, and consistently. I can tell by one sentence who the author may be. I ask for your help and guidance to become the writers you want all of us to be so that we can reach out to a hurting world. Thank you Father in the Name of Jesus Christ."