Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Finding a voice: tasting hope

I kept coming across blogs by agents and editors talking about the importance of having a unique voice. I wondered what, exactly that meant. Seemed to me that most of the books I read these days are not told in particularly unique "voices" and I couldn't really think of any that set themselves apart. So I wondered, just what does a unique voice sound like?

Out of the blue, a friend of mine lent me a couple of her favorite YA novels, both by Meg Rosoff. I read the first page of How I Live Now and bam! I knew. A story told in first person, that of a teenage girl thrown into a new situation in a new country. She didn't tell the story as a writer telling the story, but as a girl might write it down to later recall the events. No quotation marks, limited punctuation, and a voice that stays true to itself throughout the book. A book that deals with current events by taking them in one potential (and rather frightening) direction and brings us through the aftermath through the eyes of the main character. It was truly an extraordinary read.

I also read Just In Case, and I am curious as to what inspired it. Don't want to spoil anything, but there is a fun play on words within the book, and I wondered whether that may have sparked the idea for the novel. I could see that happening. Have sent off an email, but don't know if I'll receive a response. But in the meantime, I am off to buy some of Meg Rosoff's more recent works, and I highly recommend them to others!

No comments:

Post a Comment