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Blogjam: voices of same


Blogjam: when I have too many random thoughts, I often post nothing at all.  Which makes for pretty sparse blogging, lol!  So I'm trying to blog whenever a posts occurs to me, instead of blogging on a schedule. 

DEAD IRON, my first Age of Steam book (steampunk America) is told in a very different voice than the Allie Beckstrom urban fantasy series.  

As a matter of fact, it's told in five different voices, since there are five point of view characters that push this book forward.  And since one of the characters is also cursed to be a werewolf, there is a sixth point of view from the wolf state of that character.

I might be completely wrong about this, but I feel that my Allie Beckstrom books have their own "voice". The tone and word choice and sentence length and humor and pacing that makes them fit nicely in the urban fantasy genre and makes me think, "yep, this is Allie and this is her world."  I've cut out sentences and paragraphs because they aren't how Allie and her world sound and feel.

I think my Age of Steam books have a different "voice" that goes beyond the characters' points of view.  It is more lyrical with layers of wonder and darkness and magic tinkered into the nooks and spaces between the words.  But when I write it, I think, "yes, this is how this world feels, this is how these people feel."  And I edit out lines that don't fit the feel of the book. (strangely, sometimes they are phrases that would fit perfectly in an Allie book, and vice versa)

When I write noir/hardboiled mystery, the voice is different again.  Gritty, sweaty, sardonic.  To reflect the world, and how the people in that world live and think.

And while my short stories are similar, I think they have different voices too.  Some are more like the Allie books, some like the steampunk.  Others are noir, or fluffy humor, or horror.   I probably have half a dozen "voices" that come easily to me.

But I might be wrong about all that.  As the author, I can't hear the forest through the trees, as it were. I wonder if maybe my stories all sound the same, sound, well, like me.  Maybe I really only have one voice, but am just learning to use it in different ways, loudly, sweetly, hushed.

What do you think?  When you read an author do you notice the "voice" or the "tone" of a story?  When you read different stories/novels from an author do they sound the same?  Do you get "reader fatigue" from reading a lot of one author at a time?

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Jul. 12th, 2010 02:13 am (UTC)
"Reader Fatigue"
If the "tone" or "voice" of the story, as you say, is done in a way that seems seamless then there is no "reader fatigue". I could read straight through a whole set of books by a particular author with the same main character without a break and be in reading heaven. Allie has a personality all her own, and her world is unique unto her. I love being a part of it, and when it's been awhile I will finally read them all back to back. I've done this a few times with other authors that create worlds with characters that are captivating. Once you have enough books stockpiled that are in a set it's like being able to watch a whole t.v. series in a matter of weeks that has been on the air for a few years. You find all kinds of things you hadn't noticed or taken full stock of before. It's wonderful. I look forward to getting my hands on 'Dead Iron' as soon as I have the money. You are a fantastic author, and are definitely-without-any-doubts in my top favorites list! Thank you for your amazing stories!

Sincerely a Devoted Reader & Fan,
Chantelle Savage
devonmonk
Jul. 13th, 2010 04:05 am (UTC)
Re: "Reader Fatigue"
Chantelle--Thank you for being a reader, and for reading my books! Sometimes I wonder if people are liking what I'm doing with the Allie books, and it is so fantastic to get a note like this!

I think I'm a lot like you. When I fall head-over-toes for an author, I'll read everything they do. But sometimes I will get "reader fatigue" and have to break up my reading binges with another author.

tinachristopher
Jul. 12th, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC)
I think for me it depends on my emotional state and my mood. Sometimes I re-read stacks of books by favourite authors (yours included;), mostly concentrating on highlights and favourite scenes. That will give me a boost and make me feel better.

At other times I have to take a break from an author because it feels like I've just read that story in the last two books.

I never had any trouble with Allie, because her voice/your voice and the story kept me glued to the story, wanting to find out what will happen next. I can't wait to read about a different world and hear your 'new' voice. I very much look forward to it. Hey, maybe you can come to Toronto to promote 'Dead Iron':)!
devonmonk
Jul. 13th, 2010 04:08 am (UTC)
Hi Tina!

I do go through books and re-read my favorite scenes too. When I do that, the entire book sort of rushes back to me, and then I look for another scene and another, and then start from the beginning and reread the whole book, lol.

But yes, I need a break sometimes too--but mostly only if the story or "voice" is feeling too similar to what I've just read.

I hope to do some traveling for DEAD IRON. Don't know what yet, but I'd love to go to Toronto!
(Anonymous)
Jul. 13th, 2010 03:15 am (UTC)
Your new book is set different then allies books so then if there no Urban fantasy then what kind of Genre are they?
devonmonk
Jul. 13th, 2010 04:12 am (UTC)
Good question! The new series is a steampunk set in 1800's America, where steam powered technology and magic both exist. There are lots of fantasy elements, including a cursed bounty hunter, a witch, dark magical creatures, and, of course, plenty of danger.
mellie
Jul. 17th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
I absolutely adore your Allie Beckstrom series. I can't stop recommending it to friends looking for a good read. She has a great voice and I always so vividly feel the world she is in. I'm glad they come out every 6 months. I can't wait to read the next and see where you take us to.

I'm excited for your new series as I've recently gotten into steampunk. Sounds like a very interesting read.

It is interesting to hear this line: Maybe I really only have one voice, but am just learning to use it in different ways, loudly, sweetly, hushed. I was just pondering that thought the other day. I've been thinking of writing some of my ideas out, but I'm trying to differentiate between my voice and those of my characters. It's an interesting thought to try out :) And a nice place to start practicing.
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