In 2006, I was sitting with eleven other students and one mentor during our first meeting at the Loft’s Mentor Series Program. I sat upright, legs crossed, trying to project professionalism and writerly ju-ju while hoping that no one would learn that I basically wrote between diaper changes and during my children’s naps.
Our first mentor, poet Jim Moore, told us that this was our year to find our voice as authors. A woman whose entrance piece I had read and greatly admired raised her hand. She said something like: “I understand the idea of the voice of a piece, but what is the author’s voice? And how do I find it?”
She argued very persuasively that each piece has a unique voice but the idea of an “author’s voice” was too nebulous and too changeable to “find.” Still trying to hide my ignorance, I said nothing—a cowardly decision, a decision I regret, and a decision I paid for over eight long years. It is only now that I understand that both Jim and the burgeoning writer were right.
It was the beginning of spring break.
Everything at home was boring.
Link Arwalker was like, “I’m so null,” and Marty was all, “I’m null, too, unit.”
“The rain poured from the heavens as we fled across the mud-flats, that scene of desolation; it soaked through our clothes andbit at the skin with its chill. It fell hard and ceaseless from the heavens as the deluge that had both inundated Deucalion and buoyed up Noah; and as with that deluge, we knew not whether it fell as an admonition for our sins or as the promise of a brighter, newly washed morning to come.”
commonalities? What techniques do you rely on? Which ones do you over-rely on? You might write across genres, but underneath it all what questions drive the characters, the themes, the plot?
Swati Avasthi is the author of the novel, Split (Random House/Knopf, 2010), winner of a Cyblis Young Adult Fiction Award, a Parents' Choice 2010 Silver Award, a New Voices 2010 pick by the Assn of Booksellers for Children, and an ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick. Her second novel, Chasing Shadows, also by Random House/Knopf, was published in September of 2013 and received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, and more.