1. besixdouze
    Offline

    besixdouze New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Springfield, MO

    Maintaining narrative voice.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by besixdouze, Jan 22, 2013.

    Hi everyone,

    I've started on my first novel. I've wanted to write this thing since sixth grade (am now 26) and figured, "Hey, no time like the present!"

    Anyway, I'm not used to writing extensive pieces and since at the end of a session I get up and walk away only to come back again and continue it, I'm finding it difficult to find and maintain my narrative voice. One moment I feel like I'm sounding like Beatrix Potter, the next George R.R. Martin.

    How do you ensure consistency?
     
  2. Sam M
    Offline

    Sam M Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2012
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Australia
    One thing that I've heard work is to re-read your previous chapter/pages before you write for that session. I'd also edit them to save time, but it really gets you back into your voice.
     
  3. popsprocket
    Offline

    popsprocket Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    2
    Keep writing. It's a bit unavoidable that your voice changes as you go, but the more you've written in your life time, the more concrete your voice will be.

    Until then, avoid interspersing your writing sessions with anything might influence how you're writing. i.e. don't go reading works by authors with a particularly strong voice, or watch films or television shows that clash strongly with what you're watching. I once watched the show Deadwood while writing something and suddenly half of my characters seemed to be from the old West.
     
  4. PaulKemp24
    Offline

    PaulKemp24 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2012
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    3
    I've struggled with this too. I'm glad you started this discussion.

    Sometimes I find that my mood can have an impact on my voice. I might just wake up on the wrong side of the bed and all of a sudden my character develops a sharper tone.

    One thing that I've found to work is that it's okay to jump around your story. You don't need to write it from beginning to end. If you feel your voice is bitter or sarcastic, consider writing one of your conflict scenes. Maybe you know that at one point in the story your character is going to get in an argument. Today's voice might be perfect to write that scene today.

    Overall you should strive for a fairly consistent voice but I believe it's also okay to let the voice fluctuate slightly throughout the story just as your character's emotions fluctuate. Just like a real human being. We may be nostalgic at times, short at others and witty at still others. Just let that character come to life.
     
  5. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,349
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    Start smaller if you have to. Try writing short stories and see if you have a consistent voice over a length of a few thousand words.

    Like popsprocket said, the more you write, the better you'll get at maintaining a consistent narrative voice. Some things just come with experience.
     
  6. bradycardia
    Offline

    bradycardia New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was going to suggest this. I often do this, and, while not perfect, does help reorient me to the voice and tone I was writing with.
     
  7. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    first of all, you must find and establish your 'voice'... which one does by writing daily, for years...

    and then what sam said, reading over your previous pages before starting up again...
     

Share This Page