On Monday night I took a writing class. And during that class, the instructor talked a lot about voice. Voice, is what gives your work authenticity and depth. When you properly capture the voice of your character or characters, the reader feels as though they've stepped inside their head and are experiencing the story through their eyes. It makes your characters real, and it's not an easy thing to do well.
To give us an example, the instructor read from the latest book by George Saunders, a collection of stories called Tenth of December. George is especially good at capturing the voice of his characters, so good in fact, that he is able to do it in third person. And just through the few short paragraphs she read, I was flabbergasted. It was brilliant.
I went home from class that night, the title, Tenth of December, written and underlined in my notebook along with George Saunders' name. The next day, as I was driving home from work, I turned on the radio and do you know who was being interviewed on Writers and Company (one of my favourite programs on the CBC)? None other than George Saunders. What were the chances that the very next day after writing that name in my notebook I would hear an interview with the same man?
Sometimes fate and the universe just line up. One day you have no idea someone existed, the next you're hearing about him everywhere. And I'm not one to ignore fate. So, I think I need to go out and buy that book. That's one thing the universe and I can agree on.