Does your writing voice have range?
Over on Jenny Crusie’s blog, she’s got an interesting post on voice. It’s titled, Be Yourself Because It’s Too Damn Hard To Be Somebody Else.
I learned that the hard way, trying to imitate other popular authors. If you read my smutty story Techno Thrall, you’ll know what I mean. To say it sold badly would be a kindness. (Although it did get good reviews.)
I write funny. Whenever people say writing humor is hard, I always look away. There might be whistling. For me, and possibly for other writers of the funny, writing anything but humor would be hard. Harder, given that all writing is hard. Humor, well, it’s easier than not.
And like a singing voice, writing voice also has “range”. My voice ranges from just a little weirder than your average romantic comedy, to really wacky over-the-top. I like to think of it as ranging from Janet Evanovich to Sir Terry Pratchett. Both are best sellers, both are pretty far left down the wacky side of the writing continuum, but they’re not similar in style and voice at all.
I’m reading the Sookie Stackhouse books at the moment. (I figured I should since my agent pitched and sold my Reluctant Reaper series as “Sookie Stackhouse meets Thursday Next…”) I can’t figure out quite how Charlaine Harris does it, but all the books are filled with drama, darkness and death, and yet, they’re fun. I’d love to imitate Charlaine’s style, but as Jenny Crusie says, it’s just too damn hard.
So does your writing have range?