Friday, April 16, 2010

Finding Your Narrator's Voice in YA Fiction

I'm lazily surfing the Web today while two plumbers work on my bathroom. They think the tub has a bad stem. Anyway, in my other life I'm writing a novel series and, after listening to a couple of She Writes podcasts I'm starting to think writing a novel in hopes of publication makes me a modern-day Don Quixote.

Nevertheless, as I ponder writing craft, I've been taking myself around in circles over the last few months about narrative style and finding the narrator's voice. One novel is in first person and begins when the character is nine. The other has become an experiment with who is speaking.

So, I read with interest a post that touched on narrative and young adult fiction. Here's a good paragraph:
If you’re writing YA, you can experiment with narrative voice by fiddling with your characters’ vocabulary and their range of language (Swati suggested an exercise in which you take a character and have her write a letter to a grandparent, explaining a mistake she made. Then have that same character write an email to her friend, explaining the same mistake - then compare the different “voices”). You can also experiment with way that you write your sentences (long and rambling v. short and choppy). Most novels will exhibit some of change in voice by the end of the story due to the fact that the character inevitably changes! (Read post)
That advice comes from the YA Highway round-up of information from the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. (AWP) Conference.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Great post! I think a lot or YA fiction has serious issues with finding the narrators voice. I just finished one that had it spot on, Her Mother’s Diary, you would never guess that it was written by an adult man. very realistic.