Like any good teacher, our instructor here at this intensive novel writing workshop suggests we especially pay attention to any exercises that make us feel particularly resistant. Today I was the Great Resister.
However, like the disgustingly good student, I pushed myself to rewrite the same scene over and over. Find a scene, he said. Take out the exposition, he said. Rewrite it as if from the point of view of your novel’s worst critic. Adapt one of these voices and rewrite it again: slangy, sarcastic, embarrassed, shrill.
Hmmmm. Did this instructor just say ‘sarcastic’? Oh yeah, that one spoke to the Great Resister. I rewrote the scene in a voice dripping with sarcasm. I found it came naturally. Too naturally. Oh, Jesus. It’s my voice. The voice of this character. The missing voice of this character.
Now it must be incorporated throughout the manuscript. Mamma mia.
Brings to mind my earlier post about Gabriel Garcia Marquez vs. Janet Evanovich. That was just another example of the same message.
Embrace your voice, baby. It’s real and it’s spectacular.