The Voices, the Voices!

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by Carolyne Aarsen

We all have them. Those Voices that won’t leave us alone as we write. The Voices that roam around the back of our head, that analyze each word, each phrase, each scene. Voices that are often negative, sometimes positive.

I’ll be writing about my hero and heroine as they become aware of each other and the Voices will speak up, poking fun of my language, asking me if a guy would really look into a woman’s eyes like that, criticizing the way I’ve described their tentative romance. And suddenly I’m self conscious and stumbling, far too aware of the noise behind me than what’s happening in front of me.

And then one day I had a major epiphany that I’d like to share with you. An epiphany that has helped me reduce these annoying Voices to a dull murmur.

My story is about my characters and to do their story justice, I have to give them my full attention. I have to ignore what the Voices in my life think of me and what I’m doing.

It’s not about me. It’s about my Denny and Evangeline. It’s about their story with all its heartbreak and sadness and humor and pathos. It’s about their romance and their spiritual journey. It’s about the struggles they are dealing with and overcoming. If I’m not immersed in their story and if I’m not worried more about their problems than what my grade six teacher will think, then I’m not being fair to Denny and Evangeline. I’m the one that’s putting him through all this misery, they deserve my undivided attention.

Over the course of the plot they have to face deep fears, take a leap of faith and learn to let someone else help them be more than they are. If I let too many other people get involved in the story, I’m not respecting what my hero and heroine have to deal with. I’m not letting them tell their story in their own halting, hurting way.

So I’ve realized that through all of this, the Voices had better back off. The Voices have to realize that Denny and Evangeline are not their concern. They are my concern. And mine alone.

Learning this has had a very freeing effect both on my depiction of my characters story and the words I use. I have to let go of myself, let go of my ego and when I do that, when I shake off the people and voices in MY life, I can let my characters live THEIR lives.

And when I come to that last, emotional scene when everything must come together, when the emotions are at an all time high, I tell the Voices that my poor hero and heroine have been through 300 some pages of trouble and misunderstanding and conflict. They’ve scaled walls, broken down barriers, opened up their hearts and souls and faced their fears.

They deserve a moment alone. Please.

After moving to the country to follow the love of her life, Carolyne Aarsen, a transplanted city girl, quickly adjusted, raising four children and numerous foster children, gardens and cattle. In all of this, she also followed her writing dream. She is blessed to write for Love Inspired and is inspired by her husband, family, faith and community.

Comments 0

  1. Excellent post, Carolyne! Thank you! Yours is a fresh perspective on silencing the left-brain critic. It is a perspective I will keep in mind as I silence my own critical voices.


    MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA
    Truth through Fiction ?

    Harbourlight Books-2012

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