Sunday, December 06, 2009

Some Thoughts on Voice...And some WINNERS!

I feel like voice is something we're never going to agree on. What you think is voice, I think is theme and what I think is voice, you think is crap. However I love to talk about it. I love to get drunk and get misty eyed about it. I love to get drunk.

The last few weeks (nine days spent with my kids and my parents - have I mentioned how I feel about booze?) I've heard a couple of things about voice that I just loved. Don't totally understand what the speakers were talking about when they talked about voice - but that's the subject matter for you.

The first was Jon Favreau on the fabulous show Iconoclasts - two famous people from very different mediums get together and talk. In this case it was Jon and Tony Hawk. It was great. Anyway, Jon was saying about Swingers vs Iron Man (two totally fabulously entertaining movies) that he's not the same writer he was with Swingers. His voice isn't raw or insightful - now, he needs all the golf clubs to tell his story. He needs some effects and some money. He needs Robert Downey Jr. because he can't keep hammering the 20 something angst.

I love that. Our voices grow up with us and change and we should probably embrace it just so we can keep telling great stories, rather than become a shadow of ourselves.

Second thing - Jason Reitman talking about his storytelling style vs. his father's. I'm totally paraphrasing: Ivan Reitman wants to take your favorite story and tell it better than you've ever heard it. He wants to ruin you for other versions of that story. Jason wants to take the worst story you've ever heard and tell it so well you can't help but love it.

See, awesome. But is that even voice? What is that? Style? Don't know.

On to our winners!

J.K. Coi - I need you to email me because you are a winner from a previous contest and I am a lazy lazy blogger so email me at molly @ molly - okeefe .com no spaces! with your address and I will send you a bunch of fabulous things.

Winners of a couple of Molly O'Keefe classics - and I do mean classics - are:

Gale Laure

Karen Whiddon

Becca J. Heath

please email me with your addresses and I'll send out some holiday cheer - thanks so much for your comments.


Eileen said...

Ah, voice . . . It's really hard to define it, isn't it? Even though we all know it when we hear/read it.

I think of it as that filter through which we view everything. It's a combination of age and stage and world-view and race and gender and nationality and a few other things thrown in to boot. It makes the Jon Favreau thing really make sense.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I think it's a good reminder that we might have some success with a story, or a type of story but that can't define us or our voice. Been thinking about these voice things a lot lately.

could you tell i was drunk when I wrote this? Note to self...don't drink and blog.

Maureen McGowan said...

LOL about drinking and blogging.

I think voice is all the things you and Eileen mention, plus style. I have read explanations that separate style from voice... but I think the way we choose words and structure sentences and paragraphs and choose to use or not use rhetorical devices, etc, might all be style, but also impacts our voice.

Eileen said...

Or does voice dictate style? My voice tends to be young. My style tends to be conversational. We maybe getting into a chicken/egg thing here because I think they're tied to each other. Having recently hopped around in different genres, I can say that my style for my romantic suspense books is different than my chick lit books or my urban fantasy. Part of it was writing in third person. Part of it was what seemed appropriate for the theme.

Arrghh. I think I just muddied the waters further by bringing up theme!

Anonymous said...

Fun post and I have no idea what the answer is. lol. All I can say is that I've followed Laura Caldwell as she moved from genre to genre because the constant is her voice, I'd say - whether it's chick lit, suspense, mystery, or thriller - there's this thing that's the same - and I love it. :)

Maureen McGowan said...

I always end up talking in circles when I try to discuss style vs theme, too....

But you're so right, I think. You might use a different style in different books, especially in different genres, but something of your voice will still come through.

Sinead M said...

I've never been able to define voice either. It's a combination of so many things.. but interesting post, Molly.

You should drink more often..

And love Jason Reitman's comment.. I want to do that too.

Molly O'Keefe said...

tht's hilarious Sinead - I want to be like Ivan....

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