Hello everyone! Today I have for all of you a great guest post from debut author Jus Accardo, who just recently released her YA novel, Touch.
Jus Accardo is the author of YA paranormal romance and urban fantasy fiction. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald. Her first book, Touch, is due out in November 2011 from Entangled Publishing. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
Voices in my Head
by Jus Accardo
One of the first bits of feedback I received when TOUCH started making the rounds was what an amazing voice Dez had. Fresh, unique, edgy… These were all words I heard. I thought, huh. Cool. And that was pretty much it. I didn’t dwell on it or obsess. I didn’t pick it apart or over analyze. It just was what it was. Dez’s voice.
A few weeks ago I had a writer friend come to me and ask how I’d done it. She asked me to give her tips on how to make her individual characters stand apart from each other. I’ll admit it. I just kinda sat there like a deer in headlights. You wanna know how I did it? I have no clue. I just did.
So I gave it a lot of thought and boiled it down to the one thing I think helped most. (keep in mind the only thing in this world that I’m an expert is being a klutz—I’ve broken more bones than an X-gamer—so this is just my take on things)
I’m not saying you should intrude on people’s conversations—though to be honest, I’ve heard some pretty weird stuff. There was a conversation I had the misfortune to overhear a few nights ago about a monkey, a bar of soap, and a blow up doll that I still can’t shake… But the key is to really pay attention to the way people talk. The real way people talk.
Most people don’t walk around spouting flowery purple prose. How do you do? Probably isn’t the standard greeting for this decade (I’m picturing Eliza Doolittle in that big hat—yes I’m an old movie fan ) Nowadays people are more likely to greet you with a simple hello or hey. Everyone has their own way of speaking. Most people have comfort phrases or words they use on a daily basis. Things that are unique to their individual voice. I had a friend who constantly used the word *twitch* pimpin. It was his thing. I know a girl who, instead of cursing, says crappers. That's her thing. If you pay close enough attention, everyone has a thing.
If you’re writing YA, listen to teenagers. I’m sure it’s not unheard of, but for the most part, it’s uncommon for teens to say things like flabbergasted and terrific. Each generation has its own language. Listen to it. Learn it. If it doesn't feel authentic, then people aren't going to connect with the characters.
What about you? Do you have any things? Something unique to your personal voice that might show through on paper (or screen) and distinguish you from others?
When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet,seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunityto piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blueeyes home.
Except there's something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower,is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she'llturn to dust if he touches her. It's not until Dez's father shows up,wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dezrealizes there's more to this boy - and her father's "law firm" - than sherealized.
Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation - an organization devotedto collecting "special" kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons -his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. Dez and Kale team upwith a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they'recaught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dezhas spent her life keeping safe.
A secret Kale will kill to protect.
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