Thursday, 21 January 2016

Changing Voice...

As I've been attempting to revise a short story that has been sitting on my computer for a while - it won one of the writers club short story competitions a couple of years ago - I've been struggling a little.

It's not that I can't sort out the edits that are needed, it's just that I've not got the same voice as I had then.

For the past eighteen months to two years I've been concentrating on my longer stories, and now have two first drafts.

Slipping into Serena Lake mode isn't that difficult, because writing a story set over 200 years ago requires a different mind-set and style of expression, as speech patterns and the meanings of many words and phrases used are very different to modern life.

Coming back to the first draft of my Nottinghamshire short novel I was back into that voice within an hour.

But now with the short story I can hear the differences in my current voice, to the one two years ago, and it's quite disconcerting.

I suppose it's part of developing as a writer, learning, and being open to trying different things.

So at the end of my unsatisfactory short story editing session I considered my choices.

a) Abandon the story completely and forget about it.

b) Carry on with the editing and hope it sorts itself out.

c) Rewrite the whole thing, keeping the good bits and taking out or adapting the bits I needed to edit anyway - and it will all be the current voice.

Obviously I chose c).

I know b) won't work, and the story deserves another chance before I resort to a).

While I'm rewriting it, I may actually lose the 300 odd words to get it down to the 1,000 word length...

Changes...!


Changing sky...




14 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. You're right, Keith. That probably should have said 'until it finds its eventual home'. :)

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  2. That's an interesting post, Carol. I think you've done the right thing in starting again with the writing voice and experience you have now.

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    1. Thanks. I'm looking forward too seeing how it finally comes out, Rosemary. :)

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  3. Very wise to go with c), Carol xx

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  4. I came across a story I wrote nearly 4 years ago, just as I started writing. I was surprised how very different my style was then, almost as if it had been written by a stranger. So yes, I understand what you mean.

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    1. That's it, Beatrice. I can remember writing it but it's now like it was another me that did it. :)

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  5. The right choice, I think.

    I'm not sure my writing voice has changed very much since I first started. Maybe it has and I've just not noticed.

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    1. I think the changes in voice can be quite subtle so you don't really notice, Patsy. :)

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  6. Editing, revising, rewriting...all on the same spectrum I think. Onwards and upwards!

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    1. I think the fact I've been writing longer length pieces has been the reason why I've noticed how much my voice has changed. Once I'm settled into it the editing won't bother me, Stuart. :)

      Good luck with your recent submissions.

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  7. I went back to a story written three years ago, changed the tense and POV and sold it straight away (it was much better than the original).

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  8. It's strange how a few changes in tense and POV can make all the difference. Thanks, Wendy. :)

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