Play with Light and Dark

A different mood will emerge in any Setting depending on if it is dark or light. Think about the time of day it is in your scene–predawn, sunrise, mid day, nightfall, etc.  How can time of day, shadow or light help bring out certain types of emotions?  Weather can also add atmosphere to the Setting, causing roadblocks, deepening the emotional value or complicate the situation. Be wary of weather clichés of course, but use everything in your arsenal to power up your Settings!

Voice?  What the heck is that about?” I mumbled, hunched over another how-to manual, a couple months into scaling the writing craft mountain.  Its snowcapped peak sparkled down at me, egging me on from the bunny slopes.  And hey, I think I can see some money up there too. I made a pot of coffee and cracked open another book.

A year later and a novel spent on the icy black and blue rejection runs . . .

“Seek voice and ye shall find a reason to drink.” A growl slipped past my lips as I slammed shut the latest advice book. The liquor store was about to close, I had fifteen minutes to get there.

Three novels later . . .

“I still don’t get it, but I’m gonna fake it till I make it.”  My forehead hurt from all the smacking, and I was pretty sure my self-doubt had morphed into a sinus infection.  The cold drink against my brow wasn’t working.  My hair was thinning.  Hell, even my cat’s hair was thinning.  Did the same person who invented algebra invent this voice thing? The garbage man wanted to know if I worked for Amazon.  The librarian offered me a job.  Enough.  I needed to get on with writing.

Three novels and Google to the 30th power later . . .

“You have got to be kidding me?!  Is that all there is to it?!  Why the hell didn’t somebody say that sooner?” I snarled out at the empty room and thumped my drink down. The melting ice went unnoticed while I booted up the laptop.  

Some blessed advice-giver had managed to sum up Voice in a six-word sentence that clicked.

Are you ready for it?

“Voice is about the MC’s attitude.” 

Sure, there are lots of different factors that go into the voice of our stories, but attitude is what will get you there the fastest.

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