Friday, May 01, 2009

on trusting the voice

I've made what I think of as a bold move with my main character, Fifi. In an effort to court her, to make her my bff, I'm pulling her in, upping the tempo of her voice. Her place at the table is across from you. She's demanding that you look in her eyes, feel her, understand her. In short, you, the reader, has been hired as her shrink--well, okay, maybe not shrink, but, companion.

Sure, she's going to tell you about her family, but her family isn't going to eclipse her as much as in the first draft. Her family is the supporting cast. Fifi is the one. Fifi is the diva. Fifi is the one on the quest for the Secret to Love.

In taking this move, I've upset the apple cart. My colleagues, there at the table, are bewildered. What's with the tone? They want to know. Truly, they are not used to this character being in-your-face. It seems wrong. It's as if she just got a personality transplant.

This is a test. A writer must trust her vision and the voice of her character, even when the character gets that personality transplant. Okay, so now, instead of my sweet girl, you're this snotty adolescent. Fine. I'm on your bus. Take me somewhere.

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