Wednesday, July 17, 2013
She's Crafty: Refining Middle Grade Voice into smooth Delicious Butter
I relate everything in life to good butter. (I judge restaurants by their butter too. Good butter: good restaurant. Except for Mexican restaurants. I judge them by the quality of their tamales.) So if a good middle grade voice is sweet creamy butter, my writing must have tasted like margarin to this agent---tastes like butter, but there's definitely something oily and not right about it. Really people, no one should be eating margarin in polite society these days. So of course I don't want my story to taste like it.
How do I refine my style so that it tastes like good butter?
I've been asking myself over and over: how do I tone down my voice so that it isn't "trying too hard?" I want it to sound more like a middle grader and not an adult writing middle grade.
My solution: Read more middle grade novels. Duh. But this time, I'm going read and study the styles of the books that are similar to my own. See what they do better and see if I can improve. I may start a new adventure wip just to get words on the page too. Read, write, refine. Best way to sharpen your voice, right? This way my finished adventure can grow cold too. Then hopefully, the oil will be more noticeable to me and I can scrape it off.
Do you have any great tips for refining a middle grade voice? I need them, please, share what you do.
Butter sidebar: I found this pix by googling fancy butter. It made me giggle. Sometimes the Internet is really amazing to me.