Guess What!

Hello People!

It’s a sunny day in Australia and its still January so I am taking care of one of my New Years Resolutions.

I’m fixing my digital footprint.

You see, I had all this little brands all over the place. My digital footprint looked like this:

– I had Clare McIvor Photography for my Photography business

– Hubby and I have Heartland Creative

– I have my author webpage which was a struggle to keep fresh because it was all about one title.

– I had Smile Click Write for fun

– and then there were all of the Facebook accounts that tied in.

Twas messy. Twas not fun. So I’m fixing it. Smile Click Write will become Claremcivor.com in the days to follow. It will have a fresh look, and will have all the book stuff on here, but I will continue to blog about writing, life and photography just like I have been. Thanks to all my followers for making this one the blog I love. I’m staying here. I’m not changing much apart from the theme (as in appearance) and the addition of the book pages. With another title or two to be released this year, there is a lot of fun coming up!

Everything else goes onto Heartland Creative. My photography business will be there, as will my ghostwriting.

SO! Case in point. Smile Click Write is getting a fresh injection of imagery and focus – and a new name. But its still me. Thanks for being cool!

Cheers
C

A Few Favourite Photos

Soooo I have come to a realisation. This blog was supposed to be about life, writing and photography…and I hardly ever post on life or photography! So this post is a bit of both. I am making an effort to get my camera out more often. I love snapping moments. It makes me happy. So!
Here are my top six shots for the week.

Banner: the Sound desk. I just love the switches and colours. Ahhh the simple things.
1. A friends bub. He’s a smiley one now
2. Joel the bassist. He’s not a fan of photos but I don’t care
3. My baby sister (who is now 18) making lots of dots on paper. I could try that and it would look lousy!
4. The nephew. Took the cutie to the farm and he got to pretend to drive the tractor.
5. A gorgeous table centrepiece made by sister #1 out of jars, leaves and stuff she found around the house. She does elegance well.
6. A rusty old gate by an overgrown paddock near sunset.

Enjoy!

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Voice: The Forgotten Aspect of Writing

cropped-image9.jpgI can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m on the seventh draft of my follow up novel.

Seven. Gah!

By the time I got to the fifth draft for my first novel, it was done and dusted. Ready for the printer. But for this one, not so much. I keep on justifying this to myself. I couldn’t get the character balance right. I hated the main character so I rewrote him. Then I lost him. Then I had to find him again. Then there was this other character vying for attention. The major plot points stayed the same but there was something wrong.

It all came down to voice. When I started studying the subject of communication, voice was a foreign thing to me. My association with ‘voice’ was around actual vocals – you know the thing that you lose when the sound guy resists your nagging for your microphone to be turned up. My other association was to do with free speech. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Lose what? Your ability to have a voice.

But with writing it is something different. Finding your voice in writing is tricky. You’ve obviously put pen to paper, or fingers to keys, because you have something to say. The content isn’t really the issue. It is the way you convey it. But your writing voice needs to be developed and honed. It doesn’t come naturally to many.

So how do you find your voice? I don’t know all the answers to this one, but I do have some suggestions. These are the ones that helped me.

1. Blog. This will help you get in the flow of writing. It’s short format so you don’t have to stress and strive to come up with content. You can experiment with different things. You can post it all, or delete what you don’t like. But more importantly you get to practice.

2. Know who you are communicating with. If you are writing a blog, you can be informal. Hence, your voice can be informal. You don’t need to be grandiose or hyper-eloquent. You can just be you. I had a friend who struggled with this so I suggested to her that all she needed was a Dictaphone or a voice recorder app. She could speak, dump her content and then listen back and copy it down. Yes, its a long way around but it made her realise what her voice sounded like, and how she could write it. (It’s amazing how we can over-think things and confuse ourselves.) I call this educational listening!

Of course you might not be writing a blog. If you are writing fiction, then voice becomes truly interesting. Unless you are writing using the authorial voice, you aren’t writing as you. You need to put yourself in character and understand who your narrator is. One of the reasons I got to draft seven before I found the right voice was because I didn’t have the right narrator. He/she doesn’t appear much in the manuscript, but I needed to understand a bit about who they were so I could see the world from their viewpoint.

Another project that I’ve been working on involved taking a medical concept and reinventing it for the layman. Gosh. Amazing stuff! The aim was to make it feel like the reader was sitting in a clinic having someone talk directly to them. So I had to find that voice. Personal. Professional. Trustworthy. All the content was there but if the voice was wrong, the reader would be bored, disengaged or overwhelmed. It’s that important.

3. Read, but do so looking for voice. I have to say that two of the most amazing pieces to read with an eye for voice are “Catch-22” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Incredible. In Catch 22, you laugh with the narrator when you feel like you should be crying. Then you find yourself crying. Its incredible. With One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, the beautiful, simple narrative provided by the character of ‘Chief Bromden’ allows you to feel like you are right in the action. You feel like you are looking out through his eyes. Ken Kesey did an amazing job constructing that. He could have been more eloquent. But that wouldn’t have captured the complexity of the story.

Voice is essential. Don’t worry about grammatical rules too much if voice demands you break them. Do worry about understanding your narrator. Do worry about knowing your audience and definitely practice! Good luck friends! Over and out.

 

 

 

Update – all the “Coming Soons”

Hey All!

Happy New Year! My Gosh! It’s off to a flying start. I thought I’d take a moment to check in and let you know of all the exciting things that are happening in my little world.

First off is that we have sold out of our first and second print runs of “The Shadows Where We Walk.” This is kinda mind-blowing to me. The other mind-blowing thing is the reception the book is getting. We have barely marketed it at all, partially because I’m a chicken when it feels like self-promotion. Okay mostly that! But the way the book is changing lives just amazes me! So we are going to kick in this year and try to get the word out there a bit more.

If you haven’t got a copy, fear not. We are now with Westbow Press, so you can still get the book in hard cover, soft cover or eBook globally. All the details are here.

I just traveled to Papua New Guinea where my Dad (A minister) and I spoke at the most amazing youth camp. I was really expecting to just go, take books with me and come back with less of them, but I ended up sharing as well. A new thing for me, but the trip was just amazing. I am hearing that the book is really helping the younger generation connect with the reality of the spirit world, and connect with God. Huge feedback!

The Remnant – I’ll be honest. It was tough trying to write it last year because I was also ghostwriting another book. It’s hard to do two at once. But we have progressed into heavy editing stage with that one, so I’m hooked back into the Remnant and its flying!

I’ll be presenting this one to you around June hopefully! A bit later than I hoped, but if you want to know when it comes out, sign up here! You’ll be the first to know! (Signing up doesn’t sell you anything…you just get to know when the book launches).

I’m very excited to be helping my husband build our business this year and helping my Dad launch into his own writing career. He has had books brewing for years now but has never had the time to do it. We are hopeful that this year will result in some great titles that will be (non-fiction) resources for Pastors and Churches all over the place.

In addition, I’ll be launching a Facebook Author page. Its actually set up but again, I’m chicken! I need to go live. In addition, we will be filming a book trailer for the Remnant in early February! I am SO excited! That will be going up, along with a Shadows book trailer, onto my Youtube Channel in the next month or so!

SO! Stay tuned! Exciting things afoot!

In signing off, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all who supported Shadows in its first year. It’s been an amazing ride, and its only just beginning!

Peace, my friends!! Over and out for now

Clare