Reflections of Project 1 and 2
The workbook talks about writing in the style of the authors we like. I enjoy Stephen King’s chatty narrative. I also was inspired by Dorothy Whipple’s Someone at a Distance. She wrote about Mrs. North (mother of the protagonist) in a style I found compelling.
I watched The BFG yesterday and really enjoyed the way he changed words:
Two rights don’t equal a left
Telly-telly bunkum box
For Project 1 Ex 1, I started a story in first person about my family. I spoke as myself and wrote in the style of King. I tried to be chatty and familiar like his narrators. I produced some writing that could be developed into a fuller story. It helped me to write in the King style because I gave up being worried about how I was writing. It was also fun.
It was interesting to look at the different styles of writing: business and creative. Old fashioned writers like Jane Austen sound different than more modern. The flow and rhythm of her words are more formal. I had never heard of Fiction in Verse before and came upon Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. I only read the beginning but it is so good that I will buy the book. She is very succinct in her use of words but that does not make the writing abstract. It makes her writing interesting. Her word choices are perfect.
Science fiction can sound epic with big language – the same could be said of fantasy. In both of these styles you can write what you like because no one is going to question something that claims to be fantasy. No one is going to say in 1918, people did not talk like that/smoke those brands/etc.
Suspense stories use sharp words. This can be the same in horror, but in horror I find that they also use very ordinary words in horrendous situations, which can heighten the fear level (Misery is one of those where the nurse spoke very kindly and then broke his legs).
Realistic Fiction (To Kill a Mockingbird) can sound a lot like Memoir especially when written in the first person.
I read my work for Project 1 Ex 2 and it felt wrong. I was in a bad space that day and it felt inadequate as I felt inadequate. Maybe that is my voice. The voice of inadequacy. That I will speak for all inadequate people. I will speak for the Carries of the world.
Stephen King said that you have to have a number one reader (this is his wife). But I do not have that. I am not sure who I am writing for. My husband does not like writing. It could be my mother or it could be my counsellor.
I wrote the Project 2 Ex 1 to my mother. It is a story about her father. I found that I wrote more this way. I was not picking at the story so much. I was writing this story to my mother and it flowed as a very shitty first draft. I want to develop this story and might use it for my assignment.
In the workbook it states that “we often talk about a writer ‘finding their own voice’ but a writer is a vocal chameleon who should be able to adopt different voices in different situations.” I was glad to hear this because I never quite understood the finding my own voice statement. Often in my first drafts they are written in my voice, but I have to make changes so that the different characters sound different from me and from each other.
For Project 2 Ex 2 I took part of the story I wrote to my mother and thought about who my grandfather was. I was then able to change the voice from my standard English voice, to a working class voice. It was an interesting exercise because it made me really think about how he would talk and think. Because I never met him, I had to think about the era he grew up in and the area of London he lived.