I’ve been tinkering with a short story. I’ve never written one before, and I don’t have enough of this one written to say if it’s easy or hard, or if I like writing shorts or not. I can say that I’m struggling with it. It’s set in the same universe as the Shadow Reader novels, so I’m attempting to write in first person present POV. The problem is, every thought that goes through my characters’ heads and every word that comes out of their mouths sounds like the thoughts and words of McKenzie – and she’s not one of the characters in this story!
I think that’s because McKenzie sounds and thinks a lot like I do. Her voice is my voice. When you start out writing, you always hear how important voice is in a manuscript. Agents have to fall in love with an author’s voice to fall in love with their project, so writers are always wondering how to hone their voice and make it engaging. We know voice is Important.
What I never thought of while I was writing books and trying to get an agent and a book deal, is that I might need to change my voice in the future. Hell, I didn’t even know if I had a voice. I just wrote a few books the way they sounded like they needed to be written, and the first one that happened to be published was The Shadow Reader (oh, how much I still heart that book!), which is in first person present.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to write in first person present again. It’s just too McKenzie, and at this point, I don’t think I’m a good enough author to get a new voice in the present tense. Oddly, past tense is no problem. I have several different projects that I’ve written or partly written, and those characters all sound different. At least, they do in my ears.
On the other hand, I feel like I should go ahead and press through with this story in the present then challenge myself to make the two characters sound different. Maybe I can do it. Maybe there’s a book to read or a class to take that can help (not that I have time for that right now).
Maybe I just need to read more books written in present tense, or read more short stories so that I can get a feel for things better. I dunno. Just pondering things out loud here.
No new news on book three right now. It might have a title, but I haven’t received a confirmation from my editor yet. I know it went to cover conference a few weeks ago, so maybe we’ll see some art in the next few months. I can’t wait for the last book’s cover! I’m trying to predict what the color scheme might be. The first one was pink/orange, the second purple/pink, maybe the third will be blue/pink?