Every novelist starts with a blank page and, hopefully, an idea. Then, not twenty seconds into her writing, she is faced with a huge array of problems and privileges, not the least of which is finding her voice.
Who, exactly, will be speaking, the all-powerful narrator, a third party, or the character? Where are we in time? Is something happening now, in this moment, or has it already happened, either recently or thousands of years ago? How will you make 6-10 characters have unique voices – so much so that the reader does not have to read “he said” and “she said” in every other line? Which characters should come across as true and likeable? If essentially good, how are they yet flawed, as no one is perfect? If they are forthright but insincere, how will the reader know? You can’t just say so. That’s cheating.
The best thing about being who you really are is that you simply cannot fail. You do it successfully 24 hours a day. Yet the essence of who you are is often covered by all the defenses, insecurities, and adaptations that have accumulated over the years. It is like wearing five pairs of pants, six shirts and two hats. Sure, you are being who you really are, because you've chosen to add those extra layers. But can anyone really see the True You? Can you see her clearly? The following tips will help you begin the process of peeling off the layers. Each one invites an action that will help you unveil the True You.
The painter picks up a brush. The writer runs her hand over a fresh sheet of paper. The sculptor arranges her tools. The potter moistens her clay. It may be the crack of dawn, or taken nearly the whole day to summon the courage to create, but the artistic process begins. One might think the artist is creating from scratch. A blank canvas or page, a hunk of marble or clay.