Monday, September 15, 2014

Starting Over Again

Robert Ellis
I forgot that starting to write a new novel means learning how to write all over again. You'd think after six books I would have remembered the fine print.

At first glance I was thinking to myself, hoping maybe, that this time the process would somehow be easier. A breeze with a few kinks to it, but still a breeze. A walk in the park with a few clouds in the sky, but still a pleasant day. Why does writing seem to get harder each time?

I remember writing my second novel THE DEAD ROOM and being so surprised, if not disappointed, that the voice that matches up to the words inside my head was exactly the same voice I'd heard when I wrote my first novel, ACCESS TO POWER. I felt like I had missed something. I felt like I had done something wrong. After all, this was a new story, an entirely different kind of story, a legal thriller instead of a political thriller. My voice should be way different. My voice should have changed. Somehow as an artist I should have grown.
I laugh now because it's my voice that's never supposed to change.

The more I write, the more lifelike my characters become. The more I write, the more my stories seem to pick up speed and impact others. But it's my voice that comes with my being. It can't be learned and it can't be taught. A writer's voice is a writer's voice. The only way to change a writer's voice is to change the person writing the novel. And when you spot a change of voice in a book by an author you love, it's always a real bad day!

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