Find Your Voice: Lesson Four

Write down your favorite books. What about these books makes you happy? What do they have in common? How are the stories told? First person? Narrator? Are you drawn to the details or are you drawn to the broader themes? Is it important that the story be told visually? 

Two of my favorite books are Gone with the Wind and One Thousand Gifts. I choose these because they have different writing styles. Gone with the Wind is written in limited omniscient (where the narrator has an all-knowing perspective of one character-in this case, Scarlett). One Thousand Gifts is non-fiction and was written in first person about her own life. While I really loved both of these books, I hadn’t considered the point of view they were written in until just now. It’s never been something that has caused me to like or dislike a book, really. If you were to take a look at the books that I have read,they all kind of fall into the same genres or have similar themes. Of the books I have enjoyed, there is no pattern in point of view but a very clear pattern in broader themes-romance, war eras… and basically books about real life things. I would definitely say that the themes of books that I read draw me in more quickly than details. I think there’s are a lot of little things I can look past in books, but if the themes aren’t there, I probably won’t want to keep reading it. I don’t find visual images in books important at all. As a matter of fact, I would prefer not to have pictures if it is a fiction book. Personally, I think that if a book has pictures, they are trying to make up for lack of character development or setting. I want to be able to picture something in my head (which is kind of ironic since most of the things found on this blog are accompanied by photographs). I think that characters are important in books, especially the development of those characters. If I don’t know anything about the characters way of life and personality, it’s going to be very hard for me to want to keep reading just because its going to make the events and problems in that character’s life fall flat and really mean nothing to me as the reader.

How are you telling your stories now? What would you like to do the same? What would you like to do differently?

Now, I am telling stories through project life, mini books, and this blog. I enjoy the minimal writing that I do, but I would like to maybe include more emotion, feelings, and sensory details into my stories and recaps. I tend to tell straight facts, which I would like to keep doing, but also how I feel about things. I would like to increase the frequency of these type of written posts.

Who is your intended audience?

My intended audience is my family, friends and myself, with a few strangers sprinkled in here and there.

In what areas do you need to improve your storytelling so that it has greater appeal to your intended audience?

I really think adding more sensory detail to things would be a huge help. While reading lately, I have tried to pick up on what I like the best. I really do like sensory, I want to be able to visualize things and have a picture in my head of what exactly is going on. I would also like to play around with more dialogue. I tend to shy away from it, which I think happened just because in high school a few of my teachers told me opposing ways of how they wanted it done, so instead of trying to sort each out, I just didn’t  do it at all.

What is your perfect story? If you could tell any story, what would it be? 

My perfect story ends happy. My perfect story does not ramble on to fill space. My perfect story is real life, with real problems. My stories would be about my life and my travels. It would include a range of people-those travelling with me to strangers sitting in the booth next to us at dinner. And I would be the narrator. They would tell of long lines we waited in and food that made me sick. It would tell of everything I learned about myself and everything that I learned about the beauty of God’s creation in a place so different than I am used to. It would tell of things that I have learned and of things I still need to. It would be full of sensory details, dialogue, and trialogues. It wouldn’t be perfect, but it will be mine.

Creative Prompt: Pick out two different storytelling styles and tell the same story using different styles. Make sure to use styles that push you outside your comfort zone.

Written form:

Last year, I went to California with Kevin to see my Aunt, Uncle and cousins. They had tons of fun things planned for us, including a trip to Monterey. It was beyond gorgeous and so hard to capture on camera. It’s one of those places that you just have to see to believe. The whole time down there was fun but, on the drive north, we took a highway that followed the coastline. We had the windows down and were taking pictures of the ocean from the car. The smell was perfect and salty, my absolute favorite smell. The weather was a bit chilly, in the 60s with plenty of wind. We stopped in a few towns, to try out coffee shops and to get lunch, all delicious. We sang plenty of songs and laughed at the hillside of “happy cows [that] come from California”. We also saw a light house and a few scary bridges. We passed a few beach exits and then finally asked to stop at one that wasn’t very crowded. We all jumped out of the car and ran down to the water. I took my shoes off and let the water lap my feet, it was freezing cold, but wonderful at the same time. We took plenty of pictures, wrote in the sand, and enjoyed the perfect beauty that was around us.

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Poem:

heading to the ocean,
the most picture-perfect view;
out of my car window
is a perfect ombre of blue.

up and down through the hills
making stops while on the way
driving through every town
that we pass along the bay

up ahead we can see
a lighthouse in the distance,
proclaiming a coastlines
jagged, jutting existence.

onward we continue,
sparkling waters to our right
the foam left on the beach
is the perfect shade of white.

from the back seat we ask,
“pull over at this exit?”
blinker on and slowing down,
“ok, just for a minute”.

out of the car we run,
over the prickle of shells,
to the water I go,
the salt, my favorite of smells.

digging toes in the sand
waves crashing against my feet
taking in the beauty,
my surroundings: obsolete.

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5 thoughts on “Find Your Voice: Lesson Four

    • Thanks, this was my first time trying it out and I really loved the challenge of rhyming and coming up with a syllable pattern! Definitely going to be trying it out more often!

  1. Its nice to know I’m not alone! I feel the same way about books. The styles I like are all very different. It’s more the broader theme I’m attracted to. I also love what you said about the words being able to stand alone.

  2. Pingback: July Goals | Within My Lens

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