Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Friend -- Emily Allen w/a Betsy Fox

Ana welcomes Emily Allen w/a Betsy Fox.

The Voices only Writers can hear….
Emily Allen w/a Betsy Fox
         I know what you are thinking… she hears voices, call the men in white coats and drag her off to the crazy house. But wait is it really crazy for a writer to hear voices? NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT!!
         I hear them when I sit down to write with my pad and pen, then again when I’m putting my words into my computer, but those voices aren’t the helpful ones. No they’re the ones that tell me I’m wasting my time, I’m never going to get published so why am I wasting my time? I simple tell them to shut the hell up. I may never get published, but at least I’m doing something I love.
         Then there’s the  good voices that start talking to me (many of you are familiar with those), the ones that tell me I’m meant to finish my book and try to get that book in front of an agent who will love my book or the publisher that will grab at the chance to publish it.

         Then there are the voices that keep you up all night filling your head with new ideas (no wonder I need lots of coffee in the morning). But the one set of voices that we as writers really should listen to are the voices of our characters.  You know who I mean, the ones that just won’t leave you alone.
         They are  the ones that point out you need to do this or not do that or this will work, but that’s not going to work. Then they tell you I want to be with this hero, not that jerk you have me with.
So which voice should you listen to? I for one listen to the voices that push me to finish the book I’m working on. I also listen to the voices that throw me ideas as I finish one book or while I’m in the middle of writing a book. But the voices that seem to push me the most, is my characters.
So the question is, which voices do you listen to?


  1. I have competing voices, Emily. Some tell I should give up writing. Some lift me onto their shoulders as they cheer.

    Occasionally, characters tell me what they want me to write--their story. The incredible feeling of connection, of tapping into the universal well of story is what drives me to keep going.
    I hope, as I write more, I will have those amazing moments more often. More moments, more motivation, more courage, more words on more pages.

  2. Emily,

    First let me say I really like your pen name! Second, I think all writers welcome and sometimes struggle with the voices, whether brought on by doubt or encouragement. Loved reading your insight into them. Keep writing!

  3. Great article, Emily!

    OH, those voices, I know them well! Sometimes you just wish you could smack one of them, don't you? At the same time, most are wonderful.

    I have one right now saying I need to change part of my plot.

    My response? "NO! I already have 96,000 words in this story!"

    The voice is right, of course. Back to work!

  4. If you are hearing your characters' voices, then that is great!

  5. Welcome to Heroines with Hearts, Emily! I think all writers have voices in their heads (mine even have their own accents). Listen to your characters and ignore your self-doubt. Good luck on your journey to publication!

  6. Great post, Emily, and welcome to HWH. It's hard sometimes to ignore the negative voices, (which are still there muttering away even when you have been published!) All you can do is let the positive ones drown them out, and let your characters talk louder than any other voices!

  7. This is a great post! I hear lots of voices-the ones that say "yes it really is time to get out of bed and go to work even though its dark and cold outside" But the writerly voices are strong ones. They nag at you to write their stories, sometimes even when you hadn't planned on them!

  8. Ana - I have the same problem with competing voices, but I do try to listen to the one cheering me on. As I write more the voice that tells me to give up the writing gets smaller and smaller.

    Rene - Thank you! Betsy came from my middle name, Elizabeth and I just thought Fox went well with it. You are so right about writers struggling with the voices. It's nice to be in good company when it comes to hearing voices!! Oh, I do hope to do more posts :)

    Wendi - LOL!! I so want to smack them or when you write "The End" and they say you're not done, then I want to strangle them!! :)

    Carole Anne - LOL!!

    Jennifer - Thank you for the welcome. Oh I love the thought of having them talk with an accent. Emily

    Paula - Thank you for the welcome. It is hard to ignore the negative voice. I for one try some relaxing music and let the positive voice come out.

    Nancy - Thanks. My writing voices are much stronger than any of the other voices in my head, so I try to listen to those ones the most. LOL!!


  9. Emily, you've expressed exactly my experience with self doubts and motivation and those most important voices--the characters. Great job!

  10. Great post Emily. A great topic.

    I listen to my characters (but do occasionally worry about the dudes in white coats coming to find me). I gave up a long time ago listening to the nay-sayers: editors, agents, me, myself and I. In the end, it's the characters telling their story through my voice.

  11. Hi Emily,

    Sorry I'm late chiming in.

    As an author, I think it's safe to say when the voices stop...then there's a problem!

  12. Debra,

    I agree with you about the voices stopping. I think that would drive me crazier then the voices.