Philip Brewer's Writing Progress


Saturday, 15 February 2003

I've decided that it's voice that makes the difference.

It's especially obvious with my Clarion classmates. Those who have sold things have been the ones with a unique and distinctive voice. They're all also good at plot and character development and so on, but what seems to make the difference is voice.

I'm not quite sure what to do with this insight. My own natural voice for fiction isn't so distinctive. I try to write transparent prose, and I succeed pretty well. It's not that I don't have a unique voice, but the distinctions are subtle--my prose a lot like that of other people who write good, transparent prose.

The main thing, obviously, it to spend more time writing and less time thinking about it.

I fixed a couple of links on my links page. That prompted me to check the others, which prompted me to notice various things:

  1. Blunt Jackson has some sad thoughts about the slush pile and how many talented writers are struggling to get past it. (I started to send him a note with my insight about voice, but ended up just making a journal entry of it.)
  2. Theodora Goss has updated her journal after a long hiatus with a story of illness and recovery.
  3. Karina Sumner-Smith's Spontaneous Things is back again, this time as a blog.

We avoided the freezing rain that had been predicted for Friday; the temperature held just above freezing all day. It froze over night, and then it snowed, and then it got windy, so the sidewalks and parking lots are all snow drifts with ice underneath, and it was generally the sort of day to stay in today. Which we did, except for walking over to El Torero for lunch.

I've been reading rather than writing. I'm reading Cory Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and Jules Verne's Around the World in 80 Days (which I downloaded as a test of some eBook-reading software for my Palm) and Howard Rheingold's Smart Mobs, and Karel Čapek's Milito kontraŭ salamandroj. I've been watching TV and DVDs. (The 3rd season Buffies are all done. Sigh. There were a couple of season-3 episodes that I'd never seen. I think, though, that I've seen every episode of season 4 through the present, so there's no new surprises left.

Except life of course. Surprises enough there.


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