Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Slow

4th of July Pictures, Images and Photos
I talk fast. I walk fast (for a short girl), I type fast, I think fast.

BUT I like things slow. Not slow from beginning to end... but slow to start... a lingering twinkle of beginning. I like cured black olives even though I don't like them.

I like a sloe gin fizz.

I like things slow because I need things to build. If there is no building... you lose my interest.

I like reading Dr. Seuss aloud to my kids. I love the way my tongue fits around his words. One of my favorite lines to read is from The Grinch "It started in low... then it started to grow."

Yep. That's how I like most things. And guess what? That's how I write. My stories slowly unfold and then barrel ahead.

I've tried to alter this. I'm four novels in now, and I've read all there is to read about snagging some interest in your book... but those first thirty pages? Yep. Slow.

When I try to hop right into my story... I feel like I'm not being me. It isn't a story I'd read OR write.

And so maybe a snazzy agent in a modern loft with a fast track life may read my third person omniscient, literary first thirty pages and say "Not for me..." and you know what? They're right! Because they like things FAST... and I don't.

And that's okay. It's how I tell my stories. And I believe in them... my stories. They are good stories.

What about you? Have you found peace with your voice?

28 comments:

  1. Ah, yes, just the way I like things too. With stories, though, I know I'm indulging myself, carefully searching for those words that might be the right fit.

    Question: how can you like black olives, and not like them?

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  2. I'm not sure I've exactly found peace with it yet. I write YA and my voice is very young, but it is "old soul" young, which only works for certain scenarios. My backstory must include why this teenager already thinks like an adult. But it's my voice, so I work with it. Maybe one day I'll experiment with another.

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  3. I dont know much about being a writer, but I enjoy it when I do and I enjoy it when I don't, but I think I,,, startle,,go slow, endure and stop with a twist and a dangle,--I think.. maybe I don't,,

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  4. I stumbled into your blog and I am glad that I did. I hang out with people that write ... but I do not write well myself because I am always trying to write like I talk.

    Fortunately I have a secretary that finds my typed voice for me if she can count as (my voice).

    Yes there is a certain inner peace that comes from scribbling stuff on legal pads and more often scratch paper and having it turned into perfectly crafted letters sent to CEO's of companies.

    I loved reading some of your archives. You have great talent.

    Kindest regards,
    Tom Bailey

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  5. I like slow food, but fast bikes (bicycles, not motorcycles...).

    I like slow movements in symphonies, but fast grunge-rock.

    I'm contradictory like that.

    But finding peace with your voice? Priceless, good lady.

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  6. I suppose I like fast. Well, unless we are talking about the day going by fast. I hate that. As far as whether or not I've made peace with my voice, I'm not sure.

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  7. This is serendipity at its best, finding your blog with this particular post, just when I'm having self-doubts about my voice. Thank you for reminding me that it's okay to take it slow.

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  8. Interesting. I read that little bit of Haunting Anne, and quite enjoyed it - I didn't find it "slow" at all. It was quite engaging, IMO.

    Personally, I'm exactly the opposite. :-) I work fast, but I prefer a slower pace in life - slower talking, slower walking, slower "being". But when I read or write, I like to be thrown headlong into the action - I like drawn out teasing, but lots of stuff going on while that's happening (or else I get bored). If I get bored writing, I know I need to add more action. If I get bored reading, I scan to the next "active" spot.

    I'm not exactly a "literary" writer though...more of a mass market gal myself. :-)

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  9. Hmmm... Have I found peace with my voice. After rounds of doubt and encouragement, I think, yes. I have :D

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  10. I have not found peace with my voice yet. I will feel better when I get that darn memoir of me looking like something that could possibly be published.

    I lov that you have found peace with yours. And so you should. They are good stories. The one I read was VERY good.

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  11. I love the opening to this. And even though you're describing fast, fast , fast, it still somehow reads slow. Do you know what I mean- there's time to absorb it before moving on to the next bit, it completes itself.
    I like that very much.

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  12. i have found peace with your voice


    keep writing

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  13. Oooh, I like it when we realize things about ourselves. And you have some good ones!

    For me, I trust my gut. I do what feels authentic to both me as an author and to my characters. So hang in there, Suzy! You'll find the industry believers that like things "slow" too. :)

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  14. I'm not sure I'm at peace with my voice but I'm not fighting it so much anymore.

    I like things slow too. I like to savor. I like to relax. I like to immerse. That's one of my favorite lines from The Grinch, too. One of my other fav. Dr. Seuss lines? "And it should be, it should be, it should be like that. Because Horton was faithful. He sat and he sat."
    Those "should's" are my favorite to read.

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  15. Suzy, I thought you were describing how you like foreplay! Turned out to be your writing.
    I write fast but I foreplay slow...

    Secretia

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  16. Hmmm, I like my voice but I'm not sure I'm ever at peace with anything. ;)
    Here's an anecdote on fast for you. I rewrote the opening of my fantasy novel to start with a crisis, trying to get that opening hook, and an agent told me I'd jumped in to too much action without the character development, so I went back to a slower opening. There are so many people giving advice it can be overwhelming, and since your voice, Mz Suz, is always powerful I say stick with what feels right to you.

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  17. Hmm...I don't know if I'd call your work slow. At least not what I've read...

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  18. What a good subject for a post. I once had two agents considering the same book. The first agent said that I came out of the chute TOO FAST and revealed too much, the second agent said my pacing was TOO SLOW and I didn't reveal enough. I couldn't believe it.

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  19. I loved the way you wrote that, it was awesome :)

    I think I'm pretty good at the speed/pacing thing. But then again ... what do I know?

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  20. Maybe acts can not be labeled as slow or fast universally, I think that they become one or the other depending on many factors, but the more important is the state of the mind that is judging (specially the anxiety level)

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  21. Peace with one's voice... well said!

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  22. This post is yet another reason why I follow your blog. You always make me think. Thank you.

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  23. I also like a slow build-up to a story. When I'm reading, I want to lose myself in the book's world and it's so much easier to do when the author eases into it.

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  24. Made peace with my voice? Hmmm I like reading very quiet, interior monologue type novels with a lot of depressed people in them but my voice always comes out more humorous and/or snarky. Whatevs.

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  25. I'm indulging myself, carefully searching for those words that might be the right fit.

    Work from home India

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  26. Umm, not sure yet, as many days I feel like an prepubescent boy, my voice hitting high notes and then suddenly a low one rolls out.

    Slow beginnings sound nice, though. Fast beginnings aren't always better.

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  27. I suffer from FAST everything. The "I Want It Now Syndrome". hehehe Although, I'm learning to have patience with most things. *sigh*

    As for my voice, I just discovered it's a lot darker than I had originally thought. That means starting over with my WIP because I need a darker killer. hehehe

    Lynnette Labelle
    http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

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