You know what I hate about writing a novel in twenty days? There’s no time for voices. Sixty thousand words, that’s a few. And you’ve got your main characters, and a cast of several, and they’ve all got to sound different—and they do. From each other. But you know who they’re not different from? The guys from the last book, and the one before that.
I’ve got my sci-fi protagonist. That one’s unisex. Then, there’s Romance Bro and Bra, and there’s Villain (Manipulative). That’s my go-to bad guy, but there’s also Villain (Violent), and sometimes Villain (Pathetic). We’ve got, let me see—Educated Side-Character (me, feeling comfortable), Uneducated Side-Character (also me, feeling nervous). There’s Annoying Guy: he’s my mother. (Sorry, Mother.) Sci-fi Bro gets recycled for urban fantasy. I’ve never done regular fantasy. Not sure what I’d do, there.
It’s not that they’re all the same characters. I swear, I’m not that lazy. Just, they all talk the same. And they have to, because I’m not good enough to write a publishable draft in twenty days, and do eight to ten new, unique voices. Especially when I’ve got to de-Scottify them for the American set. That’s a whole readthrough, right there.
I used to get ambitious. I’d start out—I’d write a chapter or two, and they would be new people. But that’s harder. It takes longer. It takes practice and editing, and I don’t always get a second draft. Still, I’ve got to do something. I don’t like to hand in bland novels, ones with that recycled feel. Mass-market fiction doesn’t have to be bad fiction. It should still be…it should all be the best I can do.
Another thing I hate: describing people’s feelings. That sort of thing ought to be implied, not just out there, all splat. That’s undignified. I feel embarrassed (and double-embarrassed, from saying I’m embarrassed).
Finally, I hate having to eat while I’m working. My keyboard’s disgusting.
PS – this voice? Petulant Office Drone.