Friday, April 26, 2013

New Week, New Voice

DISCLAIMER:  As always, the exercise suggested in this post is just that--a suggestion only.  If you have something you are working on, please keep going!  We're proud of you and your efforts and don't want to disrupt that!  But if you're stuck or bored, well, just consider the exercise and see if it helps you.

I've been talking about voice with people a lot this week--literally, figuratively, and in the Englishy writing-type way. 

Today, I am talking about voice as in "Who is telling me this story and how are they talking to me?"

Usually, when we write memoir, we write it from the first-person point of view, and most often our voice is the one we have now, at this moment, at this age of our lives.  This voice is all well and good, particularly since most of us have decided to tell this story from this point of view at this point in our lives.  But it can also be limiting.

Staying in our own voice sometimes closes our eyes and ears to the voices of others.

This week's assignment is to consider the voices of the others in your story.  You can do this many ways:
  • You can try telling a story from their point-of-view (being sure, of course, to throw in disclaimers that this is your perception and/or imagination of how they might have been feeling or thinking).
  • You can bring in aspects of their personality from other sources: excerpts of letters, pictures they took, songs they sang, routines they followed, food they ate, etc.
  • You can escape the pitfalls of entering another person's head by considering the point of view of a pet or an inanimate object (how did the desk feel when it knew you were chewing bubblegum?).
After all the work we have been doing in the past weeks, I hope this comes as a welcome relief!