Humorous. Dark. Vivid. Lively. Melancholic.
It’s quite possible you have a touch of all these styles. Good. I certainly believe in being well-rounded when it comes to voice. However, sometimes nailing your “voice” is tough.
I struggle with it a lot in my book length manuscripts–struggle to the point where there are days I convince myself that this is an exercise in futility, that my writing still isn’t solid enough, still isn’t completely me. There are times I can write humor and there are times when it falls so hideously flat, fresh eyes make me take a good second look and I cringe in shame.
Eek!! I swear, it was funny in my head! (Doesn’t it seem the scene is ALWAYS better in your head? <g>)
If you’ve read the two rough drafts above in my page sections, you’ve seen two very different styles of writing. Valen Greer is more dark, gritty and emotional. Norse Gods is a mouthy romp with a surprise ending. Valen, even though it barely resembles the story it eventually became, is the more marketable style. I love writing that gritty, gut wrenching stuff. (Trippin’ on the dark side, yeah baby.)
The Norse Gods story was nothing but fun, plain and simple. I wrote it from a pretty detailed challenge and had a blast doing so. It’s not marketable, though. Can you imagine a place that would take a silly little romp about annoyed gods in a Starbucks?
Thing is, writing just for fun is a good thing. When I’m not targeting something specific and when I let my inner voice fly free, I tend to discover a magic in the process, something that is solid and very much me. I tend to discover key elements to my voice. And every now and then, that ‘fun’ writing can be taken further into something marketable.
It’s one of the reasons I keep up the Scene From a Pic. It does nothing more than free up your creative muse and help you develop that voice of yours. Hopefully, every now and then, it’ll help you discover an aspect to your writing you didn’t know existed.
And sometimes, that discovery is something so freaking cool, you’ll be able to free it up for the rest of your writing.