Announcing the Voice Week 2014 Prize!
And here it is. A lovely, miniaturized copy of The Hobbit. Fitting well in Hobbit hands, it’s the perfect size to take there and back again.
Also small enough to sneak into a showing of The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies, so as to shout corrections at the screen.
Featuring gold-tipped edges and black and white illustrations by Tolkien himself. Isn’t it precious?
It will be awarded to a randomly-chosen Voice Writer–so this isn’t a competition, but you do have to participate to win. Hint hint.
Speaking of Voice Week, it’s less than three weeks hence; I hope you’ve started writing. In case it helps, here’s the process I use for creating my own Voice Week pieces.
- Pick a prompt. I like to choose something that has a lot of emotional potential, but that isn’t too complicated. The first year, I picked “alcoholic mother” – a good opportunity to express character without having to flesh out a whole story. It’s more like a glimpse of some feelings than a story.
- Outline the week. I jot down ideas for which voices I want to try. For alcoholic mother, I tried versions that were educated (complete sentences, better vocabulary), uneducated (incomplete sentences, aint’s), teenagery (contractions, slang), fudging the truth (like educated, but with lies!), medieval (ye olde) and childlike (simplistic).
- Rough draft two or three pieces. I start with the ones I feel would be easy to write, voices I already have a good handle on. I tweak to make the differences as striking as possible, and may swap a few sentences.
- Look for themes. At this point I look to see if I have subconsciously included some kind of deeper message. If I have, I’ll shape the other pieces to flesh out that message more clearly.
- Read some stuff similar to the voices I’m trying to create. This helps me get an “ear” for what the writing should sound like. I tend to be a chameleon writer who conforms my own work to whatever I’m reading at the time. That may also be why I slip into a (very bad) English accent after watching too much Doctor Who.
- Write the remaining pieces. Finishing up, again based on outline and themes.
- Trim. Cutting down till they’re all close to 100 words, allowing wiggle room for wordier voices.
- Decide on the order I think they should appear. It might be chronological. Or the order might serve to tell a bigger story.
- Make my brother read them. Critique partners are so important—of course all your fellow Voice Writers will serve as critique partners during Voice Week itself, so this is a step that can be skipped.
Want more guidance? Here are some links!
Stay tuned for more.