Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Save your Voice

I'd like to start my post today with a thank you for all your suggestions for my upcoming twitter pitch. I know you must be sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation to know what I ended up with. So...here you go:


16 y.o. mind reader Stacie could spy on her hot new neighbor, but fending off total annihilation is probably a better use of her time. #WVTP

I'm really please with the result and I'm tickled with most of the comments other participants made. All the folks that commented really liked my voice. Squee! I've heard countless agents claim that voice wins over story every time. So hearing people like my voice makes me feel like the blue prize winner at the county fair.

Blue Ribbon Writing



But the comments also made me hyper-aware of the need to treasure that voice like the lost diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw. Lots of folks had lots of great suggestions for ways to tweak my pitch. But as I read through them, I knew right away there were some that lost my voice. They were good, but they weren't me.

All about the Voice

I experienced the same thing recently when I asked for feedback on my query. I got tons of great advice and I was really pleased with the result. And then I got more suggestions that while fine in their own right, cut away at the heart of what made my query my own.

So here is my question of the day. How do you know when you've edited out your voice? What method do you have for ensuring your changes are still a part of who you are as a writer?

7 comments:

  1. You hooked me at "mind reader," and I love the "total annihilation" part of your twitter pitch. I'm very happy with my critique group, and they offer great suggestions. When their advice doesn't fit with the feel of my character, though, I go with my gut.

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer. The gut is an under-appreciated writing tool. :)

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  2. That's tough. I like to write in first person, so I usually let my MC write pitches and then switch them to third person so it's her (or his) voice that comes through. My voice does also come through as far as sentence length and structure.

    I think you have to because not to sacrifice your voice when taking suggestions. If something makes you lose your voice, it probably isn't a good change to make.

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    1. That's a nifty trick for writing pitches. Thanks, Kelly!

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  3. I always go by my intuition. If it feels out of voice it most likely IS.

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    1. Ahhhh...intuition. Right in line with the gut method. Don't you wish we could bottle that stuff up inside a voice detection meter?

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  4. Sarah,
    Good for you for RECOGNIZING that you have a voice in your wriing and that you should hold on to it. When I receive suggestions that I don't immediately agree with, I try to think in terms of word choice, pacing of the piece, sentence structure, tone. There are times when I get great suggestions for revisions, but the revisions wouldn't be in my voice. I don't want to let go of that.

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