brothercyst

Friday, May 05, 2006

I'm really fucking tired this week. Thinking about starting to write a new story over the weekend.

But the ideas I'm having now are different from what I used to have in somewhat disturbing ways. Ways that feel inconsistent. How important is it to have a "voice" in fiction, I wonder. I mean, if Kurt Vonnegut suddenly wrote a book that was in the style of, say, Nabokov, would that negate his older books and make him less authentic? Would I, reading all his books, have a vague sense that what we think of as his "voice" was faked? That the tone of Slaughterhouse and Cat's Cradle was a conscious put-on, rather than something inherent to him, something directly congruent to his way of thinking and his perspective on life?

That is, if I write grimy realism one month and surrealism the next, am I foundering? It doesn't feel like it. Perhaps it should feel like it. Revising Fires made me wonder about this. I love the book, but it's not something I could write now - it's not a concept that would occur to me.

Going to MoMA now.

4 comments:

Richard said...

but it's not something I could write not

Tomorrow is Sigmund Freud's sesquicentennial!

Ian said...

I keep thinking that my manner of writing has changed significantly from time to time, especially when I take vast tracts of time away from the activity (i.e. when studying for board exams). When I look back, though, I think that the underlying style remains essentially the same, with the exception of those times when I have made a conscious effort to write something in a different manner entirely. It is those departures, I think, those flights of voice and writing persona, that become difficult to duplicate later; chaotic writing behavior is, as one might predict based upon the mathematical denotation of chaos, extremely sensitive to initial conditions.

Trevor Johnson said...

What else would you like to share about yourself as a writer?

I am still trying to develop a particular voice, a particular style. At first, I denounced this, wanting to have the idea, the topic itself dictate the style and voice of the writing. Now, I'm not so sure. I suppose I will try to develop a consistent voice for every piece.



This is a Q&A from my profile at The Cult, a writing workshop. In my head, my response makes sense. I haven't been writing for any extended period though, and I suppose that this will all sort itself out as I advance.

The complete profile is here:

http://www.chuckpalahniuk.net/workshops/writerProfile.php?userid=24456

...for the curiously bored.

BTW, great blog Nick. I've been reading it for a month or so, and I've decided to make my own blogspot as well. Do you mind if I link to you?

NickAntosca said...

Richard:

Duly noted.


Ian:

I have been told that I have at least a semi-consistent "voice," but if so, it is utterly unintentional. I always feel that I am writing in a completely different style/tone every few months, and I feel a little frustrated by this, as if I'm starting all over again from scratch. However, if I were always writing in what felt like the same voice, like making minor adjustments to it, would I quickly become bored exasperated? I'm not sure. The charitable account of what I've described above is that I'm "constantly reinventing myself"; the uncharitable account would be that I'm "groping for a voice." I don't consciously try to craft or adopt a voice (as in, "Now I'm going to write in this story" - I invariably start with a concept or premise for a story, and the voice in which the story ought to be told just kind of is encoded in that. I never think, "Should this story be in first person or third?")

Trevor:

I've never tried to develop a consistent voice for every piece. I'm sure some writers do/have. Good luck if you try. I'm glad you like this site. I'm not sure how long I will continue it. It's fun, and it's not a lot of work, but I get paranoid sometimes. Certainly, assuming it continues to exist (which I feel it probably will throughout the summer, at least) feel free to link to it.