FINDING MY VOICE: Joanna Lloyd
FINDING MY WRITING VOICE
I first began the task of recording my thoughts and activities in a journal I kept from the age of twelve when I was sent to boarding school. At high school the only subject I really loved was English and at university was berated for embellishing scientific assignments with ponderings and personal analysis. My subsequent working life has consisted of report writing, media releases, psychosocial assessments and letters that provided way too much information. Basically, I was in love with the written word.
When I first decided to write a book, I had no idea what my voice was or even what that meant. Then the dilemma of genre. I had no burning desire for one over another so chose historical romance as I love research. However, what I did discover, was that I simply could not write a simpering, submissive heroine. So if a plot required one, the plot had to be changed. Three months spent being mentored by a coach online, numerous craft books, more online courses and I’ve completed three historical romances (the first one remains in the bottom drawer).
The smart thing would have been to continue in this genre and hone my voice. Unfortunately, I have this annoying personality trait which pushes me to change the rules and make it harder. I had an urge to not only express my voice in more contemporary language but was pulled to first person narration. Despite warnings of how difficult it is to sustain reader’s interest with first person, I stubbornly forged on. I now have one and a half manuscripts – one in first and third person and one completely in first person. I am about submit the completed one so fingers crossed.
— Excerpt from this WIP —
Scene setting: A nightclub act with one of secondary characters who is a female impersonator.
“Ladies and Gentlemen. Mesdames et Messieurs.” The tall, thin emcee winks at the audience. “Yes, we are multi-lingual here at the Silk Purse.” He pauses for effect, draws a deep breath and gestures to side stage. “It is the time you have all been waiting for: she’s the Madam of plight, and the passion in the night. She’s the exotic and the erotic; she’s the softness in yin and the swelling of yang; she’s the ‘q’ in mystique and the ‘Oh’ in a good bang. She’s as sultry as the Tango, with the sweetness of mango; she arrives incognito and leaves with your libido. Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time for a little one hand clapping as the other hand is going to be a little preoccupied.
“Please give a very warm welcome to Miss Lavender La-bia.”
So, have I found my writing voice? I know what finished product I’m looking for but I don’t know if I’ve found a way to get there yet. For me, the fun is in the searching—the trying on of different caps. When I finally find my comfortable place I might ask J’aimee if I can come back and shout about it. Don’t hold your breath though!
About the Author:
Born in Papua New Guinea, I, like many other ex-pat’s, were sent to boarding school in Australia. After thirteen years in Sydney, I gravitated to the lush warmth of Far North Queensland. Now that my two boys are safely married and raising their own families, I have the time to indulge my love of books and writing. I have always had a voyeuristic fascination with people, how they think and why they act in certain ways. This led to studies in Psychology and years of workplace and family law mediation. All of which convinced me it is impossible to know what another is thinking and the most bizarre fiction could never emulate real life.
What wonderful fodder for a writer! When the iconic John Lennon wrote “All you need is love”, he knew that every living being seeks out love in some form. My novels are about love – romantic, passionate, parental, selfless and self-serving. I will spend the rest of my writing life exploring and writing about the many levels of love. Maybe the day will come when I truly understand it.
Find Joanna online:
Beyond Innocence – Australian historical set in 1820
Shadow Beneath the Sea – Historical set in WWI
Thanks for having me on your site today, J’aimee. It was an interesting exercise for me to consider if I’ve found my voice. Apparently not! 🙂
Dear Deb! the one in the drawer broke every writing rule there is but still a rollicking tale :-). If it ever comes out of the drawer, you will be the first to know. Thanks for visiting.
A revelation! Joanna, I am your biggest fan, and I want everyone out there to know that your novels are fabulous. Now, I have a favor to ask of you. Will you let me read the one in the drawer? Please! 🙂
Fascinating, Joanna! I love that you continue to develop and grow.
Thanks for visiting Leslie…I hope I continue to develop as well!!
Thanks for sharing your journey to finding your voice, Joanna. It’s a hard thing to define and hard to recognise when you’ve found such a seemingly elusive thing, isn’t it? – I think others ‘hear’ it more easily! I think it’s wonderful to write something different too – and if it helps you find your voice, even better! The excerpt you’ve shared from your WIP sounds very saucy 😉 … I’m also wondering how it feels to write in present tense? It has a more immediate feel about it than past tense, I think! Wishing you all the best with your new manuscript endeavours 🙂
I love your WIP Joanna! Is it a contemporary or another historical because it suggests to me 1920s Berlin a la Cabaret?
My goodness Australia has some many talented romance authors!
Gosh, Joanna! What a great article. You have really nailed it. What genre other than romance can adequately cover the myriad versions of ‘love’. Love can be selfless, selfish, wonderful and disastrous. Thanks for sharing.