I’ve been doing a lot of reading the past two weeks since I haven’t been writing. I’ve mainly stuck with authors I already knew I enjoyed or a recommendation from someone I trust to recommend a book to me. Therefore, I’ve enjoyed all of the books–though some more than others.
One thing I really started notice in this binge is voice. Though all the books I read were contemporary romance, all of the voices were distinct. Since I’ve been looking at my contracted novel lately, I began to think of voice in terms of my own writing.
You see, I’ve been writing fiction since I was able. I’ve always had stories in my head. Now what stories I choose to tell have changed over the years as I’ve grown, as has my writing ability, style, and voice.
The novel The Wild Rose Press contracted from me was originally written two years ago. I had just begun to learn about romance novels in the few months before. Really. Prior to that the only romance I read was Nora Roberts, and while I knew it’s what I wanted to write–I didn’t branch out and I didn’t know anything about what I needed to do to make my story marketable or even readable to people beyond myself.
In it’s original form, it wasn’t ready. Then a few months later, I finally found The CP. You know, the one that sticks, helps, and otherwise keeps you moderately sane. So, my first exchange with her was on a complete rewrite of this story. That was about six months ago.
As I look back over this book, I see even in six months my voice has changed. I’ve written three more novels. There are some things that I was much more timid about in my writing before those three novels in between. Things that I will need to go back and amp up in my edits.
I realize, as it stands, my novel doesn’t reflect the voice I have now. Ironically, the things I have been asked to work on are exactly the things I’ve been working on the past six months. Somehow, I just have to find a way to bring this stronger voice into my older writing.