Who am I today?
Posted October 9, 2012on:
Hi, It’s me, posting for the first time in a very long while. My stories ganged up on me, and I’ve been stuck writing them rather than blogging. The upside is that I finally managed to finish my fourth novel, Ghostkiller. The downside is that I now have to write a query synopsis for Ghostkiller.
So when my friend Nimue was looking for places to post I said “Absolutely!” And someday, when my mental health allows, I’ll write a blog post about query synopses.
Hello. You may have been expecting Marc, this being his blog, but he’s very kindly let me borrow it to help me further my plans for world domination. (Said plans are to involve cake and tentacles.) I’m Nimue Brown, and I write stuff. Which sounds ominously like an alcoholics anonymous style opening gambit, doesn’t it? No, I could stop any time, I have this under control… I’ve never written a political thriller. Otherwise, at some point I’ve tried just about every form and genre, although on the non-fiction side my insane rampage remains limited to the tiny handful of subjects I know anything about. (Paganism and Druidry, and how to write really awful books, for the greater part).
Having grasped that Marc likes to blog about the writing experience, I thought rather than just beat you about the head with ‘buy my book’ content, I’d try and write something that might fit in here and could possibly amuse someone. Anyone who thinks the life of a book author is glamorous ought to spend a couple of days actually trying to sell books to people. It’s like working in a sales department, with the added bonus of getting to take it personally when people aren’t interested. Therefore, in self defence, I’m trying to find ways of talking about my new books that won’t bore me to tears. You, dear reader, hopefully benefit from this as well.
Finding the writing voice depends rather a lot on who I’m supposed to be being. This, for example, was going to be written in my serious-blogging-author voice, which seemed appropriate for the task in hand. That was two paragraphs worth of lost the plot and failed miserably then. We’ll try and straighten up now and get the right voice in place, yes? Because of course the voice you use as an author is an important sort of thing.
I have my meaningful Druid voice for www.druidlife.wordpress.com which carries me safely into the realms of non-fiction book writing as well. I’ve got my dark and grim voice, best used for gothic horror, but sometimes that gets confused with my comedy voice if I accidently get too Lovecraftian. Things too terrible to describe have a life of their own. It’s dangerously easy to shift from deliberate horror to accidental comedy, I’ve learned. It’s also far too easy to go from deliberate smut to accidental comedy too, but that’s another story.
If I really want to mess with my own head, there’s always the option of writing something that doesn’t even have a narrator in it. Despite years of doing comics scripts, this still feels a bit weird, like going out in public wearing just my knickers. Writing without a narratorial voice is just so… exposed and… naked.
Inevitably there are days when I get confused, when the playful steampunk voice somehow sneaks into the Druid writing. Worse still, the alter-ego gets out when she shouldn’t. (The other me is a sassy, obscenity-touting author of rude books with a much more defined attitude than the regular me, and who is starting to develop a decidedly American accent.)
I’ve never been very good at sticking to the same thing for long. I get bored easily. I go from fiction to non-fiction and back again. I flirt with novels, churn out short stories and blog articles, the odd script… some of them are very odd, truth be told. It means I don’t have a stable author identity. I don’t have one voice that is definitely mine. How I write depends so much on what I’m writing and who I’m writing it for. If that sounds a bit like an ongoing identity crisis… that might be a fair assessment.
The really odd thing is, that when it comes to my own preferences, what most attracts me to specific authors, is their voice. But then, most of the writers I follow tend to stick to one thing, rather than ambling about all over the place, which probably helps. It’s much easier to market yourself and develop an audience if you do one identifiable thing, I suspect. There isn’t the same problem of waking up in the morning and wondering who you’re going to be for the next couple of hours. Nor is there the issue of getting part way through what was supposed to be a sensible sort of blog post and hearing the other, not so sensible voice sneaking in.
Who was I supposed to be, again?
It’s possible of course that the little voices in my head will undertake to organise, synthesise and turn into one, coherent voice that I could use for everything. What would that sound like? Comedy gothic druidry with a steampunk twist? That’s got to hurt. There’s probably some kind of cream you can get for one of those, mind.
Oh, and did I mention, there are books? On the non-fic side, Druidry and the Ancestors http://www.amazon.com/Druidry-Ancestors-Finding-place-history/dp/1780996772/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1349344809&sr=1-3&keywords=Druidry+and+the+ancestors#_, and the embarrassingly naked in public without a narrator thing is Hopeless Maine, a graphic novel series from Archaia, which is here – http://www.amazon.com/Hopeless-Maine-1-Personal-Demons/dp/1936393573/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1349345049&sr=1-1&keywords=hopeless+maine