Monday, September 08, 2008

The Voices

Posted by Lisa Marnell

There are many voices that speak to me. They don't come from little creatures, sitting on my shoulders, helping me decide between good from evil. Besides, I don't have enough room on my shoulders to carry about the number of voices that speak to me. Perhaps I should explain.

One voice is gruff and deep like a rumble of thunder. It always says the same old thing: "Hey! Lisa! The stakes in your story aren't high enough." You, again? I complain, But I upped the stakes already! "More stakes! More!" It shouts to me day after day after day.

One voice is soothing, low-pitched female. She's less persistent. She doesn't talk to me as often and when she does, I tend to listen. "Excuse me," she whispers with the trace of a British accent. "What do you say to adding a more poignant detail in this description? And perhaps you should paint this setting more clearly." Her suggestions are fun; I could Word Paint until the cows come home.

The third voice is probably the most annoying. She speaks in a flat tone and only says five words, time and time again: "I don't get this story," she complains. What don't you get? I ask. The character's actions? The plot turns? "I don't get this story," she repeats ad nauseum. Oh, she's annoying, and she's the one that fills me with self-doubt. She's right, I tell myself. I need to change everything, absolutely everything. I must never pay attention to her.

Another voice I love. "Fantastic," it calls out to me in celebration. If this voice were a person, he'd look like Rafael Nadal. Strong. Confident. Awfully cute and definitely either Spanish like Rafael, or maybe Italian. He sings to me that it's time to celebrate! My novel is on track! It's working!

Every day, I hear these voices. Every day I must choose which voices to listen to, which to ignore. I will stay on track, tie my threads, get ready to send it to my writers' group in a few weeks time. In a way, I've won already.


Larramie said...

May your novel avoid the likes of an Andy Murray. But your one voice is British not Scottish. ;) said...

I guess the balance is not letting the negative voices outweigh those positive voices that inspire you to write your best!

Anonymous said...

That Andy Murray coment is a jem. I wanted a Nadal-Federer final.:(