Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! My Cincinnati buddy, Tatum Throne, is joining me today to share her writing advice. As usual, she made me smile and laugh. And her tips are right on the money too!
Take it away, Tatum!
The best advice I can give to writers who want to publish was given to me by my freshman English teacher, Mr. K. I was slouched in the back of the room against the wall—one of the most coveted seats in the room. He was in the middle of teaching and walking the room to catch us doing things we shouldn’t be doing.
He paused next to me, leans in and whispers. “You need to find your voice.”
I looked up and our eyes locked. Did he see shock and dismay in mine? Cold-blooded fear of being found out? I was startled—my heart racing. He was right. He went on teaching as though nothing had happened, but he just lit the fuse of a bomb that I’d been carrying around. I spent years trying to be invisible and he caught me in the act.
Voice is one of the most important aspects for me as a romance author. I understand how I convey things and what I would say in a situation my character is in…but how would they say it? Is it true to their voice? Is it authentic to the regional area or are they a transplant from Boston to the south?
So, how do you set about finding your voice? You can go read everything out there to see what everyone else’s voice sounds like. I did that. Did it help me? To a degree, but I didn’t get comfortable with my voice and writing style until I dug deep and wrote stories that interested me. I found my voice by unleashing what had always been lurking deep inside of me and begging to come out. Not only did I find my voice, but I found my muse.
Wait…what’s a muse?
A muse is your well for finding inspiration. Only you can define what your muse is and is not. Mine is a foulmouthed, smoking, thirty-something troublemaker who loves me and all of my flaws. He just shot me a look when I called him foulmouthed and grinned at the troublemaker. My muse will tap me on the shoulder and remind me to get writing. I’ll be working on dishes or laundry and he’ll be sitting on top of the dryer, blowing smoke in my face from his cigarette. You will find your muse too. You’ll also discover that they like to take vacations and not bother to tell you where they were going.
Just wait for your muse to return from their adventure. Your muse needs to be supported and comforted. They’ll often take your book into a direction you never imagined. Follow them! Don’t badger them about deadlines and huff about needing to get to work. Muses don’t like that. They want you to invite them in and offer them a drink. They want to hang out for a long time and catch up like an old friend. Trust your voice, trust your muse, and never give up.
He’s here. Gotta go.
Thanks for visiting today, Tatum. Your muse sounds like a bad boy who refuses to be tamed! Mine is an invisible sprite who likes to wander off a little too often. Maybe we need to play matchmaker to keep them closer to home! LOL
She has a master’s degree in social work that she received from the University of Cincinnati. She left the field of medical social work in 2007 to be a stay-at-home mom of three rowdy boys, and to pursue her dreams of writing romance.
When not indulging her fantasies or writing, Tatum enjoys heading to the beach to build sandcastles with her boys, hiking in Red River Gorge, and spreading awareness of eosinophilic disorders.
Romance...With A Kick!