Hey cHEwY gum gums
Wow, has it really been two months? You know I’ve been pretty slack with updating my bloggy blog, but rest assured that everything’s going alright 🙂 I’m still plowing through Nothing’s Prefect v.3. It’s taken some time for me to get my main character Paulo right. Or more importantly, his voice. I often tell kids that I hear voices in my head, and they kinda write the words for me in my stories. But I’ve tweaked this story twice now, and each time my main character’s voice has changed slightly. This time around, he’s sounding a little clearer now and I’m making my way through my latest draft, chopping and changing characters and scenes around. Hopefully this will be the one that will make its way onto the shelves 🙂
So how do you find that authentic voice in kid’s books? Do you have to pretend that you’re a kid? Or think back to when you were a kid? Or hang around kids or shape your characters on kids you know? I’m lucky that as an author visiting schools, I can peel my ears back for any juicy dialogue, ideas or character traits. I think back when I used to be a full time teacher and my own class of fun, crazy students. They were the seeds for a few characters that sprouted up in Thai-riffic! and Con-nerd. Finding your own voice has to be a mix of using your own unique perspective of things and observations…
I guess my books are a part of me in that I can share that voice with Lengy, Connor, Johnny and so on…but is that the case with Paulo? I’m prepared to find out…
I’ll also add that reading books will also help you find that writing voice too. I think about guys like Morris Gleitzman, who has written so many books, and how he captures each of those main character’s voices in those books. Felix is so different from Grace, Limpy and Oliver (haha yeah just wanted to throw that in there, there’s a main character based on my name haha), and yet there’s that classic MG goodness that shines through all his characters.
I went to the Maurice Saxby lecture a few weeks ago, where my author friend, Libby Gleeson spoke about the power of stories. She said storytelling makes us human. We carry stories, where ever we go. If you want a message to burrow into a human mind, work it into a story. So with these stories, come these sights, sounds, smells and of course…voices. I know it sounds like a cop out when we say ideas are everywhere but it’s true. Libby said that writers are there, turning on the tap and the combo of words and images will flow out and creep into the mind.
So anyway, that’s enough writing for one day, it’s time to listen 😉
Two weeks ago