Let's start with the September update shall we?
Words Written: 2196. Not my best, but definitely better than 0. Glad to be getting back in the swing of things. (Also I'm working on a secret side project that I'm hoping to be able to share...in January probably). I'm also writing regular blog posts for work - and I'm actually really proud of them, so go check them out here.
Books Read: 3. The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green, DIS MEM BER and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense by Joyce Carol Oates, and Mrs. Perivale and the Blue Fire Crystal by Dash Hoffman
We (my SO and I) also celebrated the 20th anniversary of Silent Hill 2 by playing it. Okay - he played it and I watched, but that game is so good, even 20 years later.
I think that's all the major updates for now. Some things to expect on the blog are weekly flash fiction pieces, and on my other socials you can find me participating in preptober on Instagram, and 13days13shorts on twitter. Spooky season is here y'all!
Okay, now to the main event.
An Exploration into my Writing 'Voice'.
As a writer you hear a lot about finding your 'voice'. There are a lot of philosophies on this. Some people think it's just something you're "born with" so to speak, other people think it's something you can craft and hone. I lean more towards the latter and here's why.
If you're not new here, you know that I got my BA in Creative Writing. My program was very focused on literary fiction, and encouraged you to not succumb to cheap "genre fiction". I knew I wanted to write spooky stuff, but to pass my classes I had to make it literary. So I tried to hone my voice to fit that. I read Joyce Carol Oates, Shirley Jackson, and Harper Lee. That's really where I got my love for literary horror, and the Southern Gothic genre, things I still love even now.
In September I read DIS MEM BER by Joyce Carol Oates. It had been a while since I read some short stories, it had been a while since I read some Southern Gothic literary horror and I was excited to dig in. As I was reading I could see the things I love about her voice, and the things I tried so hard to replicate (and probably not well) in my own short story writing.
But I realized that I don't see much of any of that in my novel writing voice.
Rewind back to August. I read Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero. A more contemporary, campier horror. Spooky yes, original and clever yes, but many people probably wouldn't refer to it as 'literary'. For those of you who haven't read it, it's basically the "Scooby Doo gang all grown up". So it's scarier and edgier than Scooby doo ever was, but still not literary.
And I saw myself in that book.
My current novel is definitely campier, it's definitely spooky (at least I hope it is), and while it is inspired by Southern Gothic and the Occult Horror genres, I don't think I'd call it "literary horror".
So what happened?
Well, I think a few things. I think I found and am continuing to find my voice. I'm many years out of that writing program, I'm not writing for a grade anymore, I'm writing for myself, so an evolution comes from that naturally. But I also think I just might have more than one voice. Short stories and Novels are totally different things. I think it's fair to have different voices for them. And I'm sure once my novel is done I could look at both my novel, and my short stories and find the similarities that are inherently "me". Even the (little bit) of poetry that I write is different from both my short story writing, and my novel writing.
So what am I getting at? Nothing really. I just wanted to record this evolution in my writing and share with people so that it might help in some way. To let other writers know that if you haven't found or curated your voice yet, that's okay. If you have different voices for different projects - that's okay too. Writing isn't a one-size fits all craft. Make it your own.
That's all for now.
Until next time,