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Thursday, February 11, 2010
6:57 PM | Posted by Maureen | | Edit Post
It be the dawn a’ the pirate age, when the stylish thing ta wear be a fur tricorn and weave bones in yer hair. We find two stalwart Neanderthal pirates stompin’ about the deck a’ their giant, thick walled ship. It be near sunset and Og holds a carved wooden tankard a rum. (Because there was, and always will be, rum).
Tar, his second mate, holds a large orange, sliced in half and be slurpin’ away at the juice. It’s pretty disgustin’, as his beard is all sticky and all…
A sudden gust a’ wind caused both ta loose their footing… Og manages ta hang onta his tankard (somethings never change and spillin’ rum be heresy) but Tar’s wonderful juicy orange flies inta the air…
Only ta land with a large *kerplunk* in Og’s tankard.
“Ya got fruit in me rum!” he roars.
“Ya got rum in me fruit!” Tar roars back.
Og takes a cautious sip, grunts, takes another.
And so, on a blistery day, back in the time a’ the ancient ancestors, rum punch be born.
What does this have to do with my blog topic today? Well, what came first, the orange or the rum. (I know, I should have used a pineapple, that would have needed to be one huge tankard.) (And I like OJ in my rum.)
So, we did critiques at my last local RWA chapter meeting. I put forth a few pages of my latest grand scheme to rule the… Uh, I mean, I brought two pages of my pirates with i-pods epic. And read it aloud. (Which was very helpful for me personally and I may try this reading aloud stuff more…but I digress…)
Yeah, yeah, nothing new there…
One of my chapter mates has Donald Maass as her agent and I think she’s already pubbed, but I’m not sure. (I’ve been told, I’m certain, but per norm, it went in one ear and sped through my convoluted brain, got lost, found, lost again and then dribbled out the other ear.)
This lass said, (not a direct quote, btw…remember the convoluted brain?) “You have a very literary style. It’s very compelling, but distant.”
Not because it’s compelling, or literary…but the distant sort of bugged me. I looked around at the others and they were all nodding in agreement. I asked for some clarity on exactly what is a literary voice and after some stumbling comments I left about as confused as I normally am.
I went home and thought about those comments. They touched on style, on an agreement that what I read was compelling. And even that a literary voice is very appropriate for my genre. So, I wasn’t hurting, just a tad…confused.
I said, stop snickering!
I looked up style and then voice. Well, that was fairly useless. About as much help as what came first, the chicken or the egg. One source said… “Voice is the author’s style, the quality that makes the writing unique and which conveys the author’s attitude, personality, and character.”
Well, that was some help. Though it basically said style and voice were the same thing. Another definition said that style was “the way an author writes. The word choice, tone, syntax…”
Aside from my personal search for exactly what is meant by the term literary voice, now I’m bobbing about the sea, wondering about the entire concept of voice vs. style.
What does the crew have to offer? Any clue on the meaning behind what is to me a cryptic phrase — literary voice — or on the entire debate of what is which and which came first and if the two are the same? How do you define your voice? Your style?
And thanks to Terrio, who contributed another well earned kick in my ass when I worried if I needed to change my voice. Thanks, Ter. Whenever you need a swift kick, I’m yer pirate.
BTW, Tar wanted his orange back and Og wouldn’t share so a bloody fight ensued…all perfectly normal.
Labels: Loader's Logic (2nd Chance)