Saturday, 10 December 2016

Tina's #RandomWritingTweet #3 - Your Author's Voice...Keep Out

You want to do it. I know you wanna--but don't!

I will start by saying that there are articles and novels, written and yet to be written, in which the author has a strong voice, or the author is a legitimate character who makes what you're reading that much better, but...

There are many more examples of writing where the author set out to tell the story ONLY through the perspective of their main character, or through a few characters, but not through himself/herself. When it happens, it jars the reader and jeopardizes the relationship you've created with your good luck.

I've seen it a number of times, in editing for others, which inspired me to write this in my blog. You're reading along, no sign of the author, until *wham!* Suddenly, the author is lecturing you about something they know or feel--one of the worst cases of inappropriate author voice! 

A more subtle infraction is where the author sliiiiides in a little remark that just doesn't fit. You've done such a good job with your characterization that your reader knows that the character isn't feeling this, or thinking it--or there is no way the character can even know the truth about what the author is reacting to.

In summary, it is a legitimate technique to have the author's voice in the forefront, but if this is the chosen style, then it must be consistent throughout the book; it must be done purposefully and skillfully. However, some authors slip up and insert their own voice without thinking--often due to their particular passionate stance on something being perceived by the character, or the need to be heard in a self-gratifying act of carelessness.

As the author, choose a style and stick with it because you don't want to lose credibility with your readers.


No comments:

Post a Comment