Thursday, January 14, 2010

Holy Blazes...

I made a stark realization about myself last week. See, I did a post on The Unnameables, a fantastic book, and the agent who sold the book, Kate Schafer, quoted from my blog. What'd she quote?

"Holy blazes, the woman knows how to use words the right way."

I almost died.

Here's why: (OMGOSH, I'M DOING IT RIGHT NOW!)
I realized from that quote that the writing style and voice from my novel had bled into my blog post. And it's not the first time.

My ten-word Tuesday post contained the same style. As did that "Here's why:" up there.

*head desk*

Now that I'm aware of the problem, I realize I've been doing it for months. Whenever I'm writing, the style and voice creep into ALL my writing. This blog. My chats (sorry guys!!). My tweets. Facebook updates.

Holy blazes! (DANGITALL!)

See, my (OH. MY. HECK.) MC says "blazes" and "blazing" as a curse word. I find myself saying it out loud now. And, she starts sentences with "See," to explain things to the reader (OH FREAK. I DID IT IN THE SECOND SENTENCE OF THIS VERY POST!). And I use the writing style like Problem: the tattoo flowed over his face. with the colon and everything.

That's it. I can't write blog posts anymore.

Holy tornadoes, (ACK!) tell me you guys do this too! Does your character voice and writing style sneak into your other writing? Your freaking conversations??

**Note: When I was revising CI, most of my blog posts started with "Yeah," something characteristic of that novel. Shoot me. Shoot me now.

45 comments:

Melanie Avila said...

Oh, this made me laugh and laugh. My characters talk like me -- one as a teenager and one now -- so nothing's changed much for me, but if I can ever get into this YA idea, I have a feeling this will happen to me as well.

Too cool she quoted you!

Southpaw said...

Uh, no. Just kidding. :)

DL Hammons said...

Absolutely, and it's a mixed bag. On one hand its your voice, the one that sets you apart. On the other hand it can be a handicap. Especially with dialogue. I try to be as realistic as possible when writing dialogue, but sometimes what sounds perfectly normal looks really stupd on the printed page.

But being singled out for your use of words is something to be proud of! Congrats!

DL’s Blog

Donna Gambale said...

Hahaha it's awesome that you're so immersed in your work that it comes out in your real life. Yes, I get why it's creepy. But I'd take it as a point of pride!

Kerri C at CK Farm said...

You have me cracking up Elana!!
That explains when I did a post on words you said blazing!!!

I can see how that happens if you are working in depth in your story, totally engrossed! I had a dream about a scene in my story the other night!

Liza said...

I'm with Donna. I think that it means you are so engaged in writing your book that it's starting to tiptoe (or maybe stomp?) over to your real life. It seems to me that to be fully invested in the project, it would almost have to happen that way. I agree with the "words" comment too!

Bish Denham said...

That hasn't been you all along? It's been your MC speaking through you? Should I feel cheated or something? LOL! I think it happens to all of us.

Susan R. Mills said...

You know, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. I think your voice should spill over into your blog. It gives people a sense of what kind of book you've written. I'd have to say it doesn't happen to me much. I wish it did, actually.

Carolyn V. said...

Yeah, I've noticed that in my blogs too. I think it's because I keep thinking about my project even when I should be blogging. But I agree with Susan, I've heard that sometimes people will be more interested in your book if they know the voice. I hope that's true.

Ellie said...

=^__^= that is just so cool! i mean, can you imagine? right now it's harmless enough, but then, then the personality takes a bit more control... until... (*watches too many horror movies*)

C. N. Nevets said...

This doesn't happen too much with me, because I have a pretty strong character selector switch that keeps me in the appropriate voice and role. It's a pretty deliberate act, actually.

And it's a good thing, because of the voice of any of my characters started bleeding into my RL I would be fired and probably divorced. lol

Catherine Denton said...

If that's HER voice, I can't wait to read your book! (See? You were just marketing. And it worked!)

I used a (made-up) swear word from my novel once when I stubbed my toe. No one knew I was cursing. That's one benefit to being unpublished.

Winged Writer

Christine Fonseca said...

You are SO FUNNY!!! And yeah - my characters bleed into real life all the time.

Corey Schwartz said...

I think that just means that your voice is authentically you! It's a good thing :)

And it also means that since we LOVE your blog so much, we will go nuts over your book!

Paul Greci said...

Yeah, happens to me, too. Writing, talking. I think it's kindof fun. Your life becomes this continuous play.

Tere Kirkland said...

I'm not seeing the problem here. ;)

It's a good thing, Elana, a good thing. That's why so many people find it so effortless to read your blog. You come across as real, and easy going, not stuffy or pedantic (a word I used in my blog post today, lol).

Keep up the good work!

Daron D. Fraley said...

It happens! And I hope that is not a bad thing, because if it is, I am going to have to be shot too. After your post I went to my blog and noticed that it has a suspiciously low number of contractions. Dialog in my book had none, until my editor made me loosen the text up a little by inserting the occasional contraction for better readability. Yikes.

Nisa said...

You're just such a trend setter, you're keeping up with your own trend! *grin* I haven't done that with my own novel I don't think, but I definitely do it after reading a good book. After reading six Robert Jordan books in a row, I found it hard not to use "light" or some of the other expressions in it. I think it's normal. :)

Elle Strauss said...

I guess you need to find out who's "real", you or your MC!

When I started blogging I found that I had yet another 'voice'. I'd never written non-fiction before and it's really liberating to write what I actually think, rather than what a made up character might think.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I, for one, love your voice (or voices, ha!), and, you know, she quoted you!
BTW, I really like the revamped blog. It looks great and loads faster.

lbdiamond said...

Um, yeah, I don't have a problem with your voice. (Perhaps I'm saying that because I, too, have a "bleedy" voice! HA!

You know, I saw that blog post that freaked you out and I thought, "Totally cool! I KNOW that person!!" :)

Voice is good. People will remember you.

Kimberly Franklin said...

Yes, all the time. And it can get kind of embarrassing when you're mimicking a 17 yr old when you're 26. : ) But it's still fun!

"Holy blazes!" I love that saying!

Iapetus999 said...

I endeavor to prohibit the hifalutin style of my Victorian-era masterpiece to influence my commentationary.

~Jamie said...

I don't have a smackin' clue what you're talking about :)

V. S said...

This was awesome!!! Seriously, I love writers who are so in tune with their characters.

Stef said...

No worries, I do the same thing!! It's even worse when you're writing a character who is of a completely different nationality than you. For example, one of my characters from the current work in progress is British, and I find myself saying things like "Bollucks!" and using that certain British cadence when speaking. It's incredibly frustrating but also quite hilarious.

Elana Johnson said...

Hey! Thanks you guys. I'm feeling so much blazing better now! LOL!

And yeah, I have issues with my writing bleeding into my real life. My poor family.

But at least you guys get me!

Stephanie L. McGee said...

Oh, Elana, how you make me chuckle. Don't stop blogging. You just have such talent that you have to show it everywhere!

Kat Harris said...

Shoot me. Shoot me now.

FYI: Moonrat is looking for her gun and shotgun shells right now. :-)

Just kidding.

I do it too. You're fine. If you quit blogging, I'll cry. And you don't want me sobbin' all over my computer now. Do you?

Terri Tiffany said...

Yeah, I think it does:) Cause my voice is my voice in my books and on my blog for the most part--well, sometimes, some characters, hmm-- I need to watch myself.

Sandra said...

A bit late perhaps, but I agree with Susan and the others who thought this wasn't anything to feel blazed over. ;)

catwoods said...

Ditto that sentiment. There is nothing wrong with writing what you feel and obviously, your characters are a big part of your life.

I'm very prone to picking up accents. Even the ones I write.

: )

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

You are not alone. (Obviously, from the 32 comments above me... but what I mean is that I do it, too.)

I find that I also start to talk in the voice of characters I am reading. For instance, I finished a book by a British author late last year, and started saying bloody hell and stuff ALL THE TIME.

Solvang Sherrie said...

No shooting necessary. Now we just know that your novel is actually a thinly disguised autobiography :)

J.A. Palermo said...

That's your authorial voice talking. Don't you know that a few years from now, we'll all hear a page from one of your novels and say, "Oh, that's got to be an Elena Johnson book!"

L.T. Elliot said...

You're the best, Elana! I love your "voice" and it always makes me smile. Plus, ali told me how awesome your books are and so now I'm dying to read them. (Hell, I was dying to read them before that but not I'm like living-dead-dying to read them!)

Jessica said...

Hahaa! Hilarious. Amazingly, you've just inspired another post. Thank you, Elana. *grin*
No, I don't find myself talking like my characters. Sorry. :-)

T. Anne said...

I'm laughing. Once they get into your head there's no other way to deal with them but let them escape into your world. Happens all the time.

Jemi Fraser said...

I do it too. Some of my Steampunk vocab has slipped into daily use. Creates a few odd looks :)

Don't lose yours - it's fun!!

Lisa and Laura said...

I love it! My goal is to use "holy blazes" as much as humanly possibly from now on. It rocks--just like you (and all your characters). You are a writer through and through...that's what this means!

Shelli said...

i think its coming from somewhere inside you. our characters are facets of us.

Anissa said...

I love it! I tend to absorb the mood of my novels (something I've just figured out).

Anyway, I love the voice, and I don't care who it belongs to.

Amber Lynae said...

So here is the thing, this post is just amazingly entertaining. I'm sure it happens a LOT to almost all writers. It is hard to turn off the voice that is dominating your brains working time.

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

I'm not sure whether it's the chicken or the egg for me. Is it my MC voice bleeding into my posts or is my natural voice what my MC uses? Hmm.

I have caught myself saying things like Aw, hell, which is definitely more my MC than me. (I'm more of a natural curser, lol.)

But I think it's hard to separate the two sometimes.

Birgitte Necessary said...

Elana, you are hysterical. Your blog posts make me want to read your books. See? Plus I love that "in-the-moment" prose, the kind that keeps you interested and hooked. Please don't change. (Isn't that sooo year book classic?) :)

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