Conversation

Whose Voice Is More Important?

I think I am trying to practice the art of telling my truth in different voices, in other words, “character creation.” It’s hard when you’re creating characters to ensure that they all have a different tone, a different vibration so that the story doesn’t become stagnant.

And I think that this is is what I am trying to learn when I write on La Lumiere Magazine. I think I am trying to just ease myself into telling a story about Vampires and Demons and the heroic humans who survived them.

But it’s frustrating because as any writer will tell you, although we all have our own way of processing the story, the story is never easy to tell.

It’s like chipping away at stone, one wrong smash of hammer upon stone and you ruin the entire thing. Sometimes the desire to write is so strong I can’t breath and other times it’s like trying to hang myself with thread, painful but largely inefficient.

Writing – declaring yourself as a writer – is kind of like a self death, because you have to throw out all your expectations and hope for the best, you have to throw out everything you think you know and you become a whole new person as the story evolves.

Characters teach you something about themselves as they evolve and grow and as you the story teller grow and evolve, you learn more about how you see the world.

Someone wrote a tweet calling another author an anti-semite, and although I love this person’s work, it occurred to me, that I wasn’t reading into the story the way that I should have been, and now I am more careful about what I write or how I write a certain character than I would have been before.

I never want to be the kind of writer that offends people, but at the same time if you don’t offend people you can’t get them to talk about your work, to dissect it and to share their own opinions and thoughts on it. You can’t have one without the other.

So I have to decide, am I okay with offending Trump lovers and Maga supporters? What if I go too far and offend some of my more liberal readers is that good or bad? Writing forces you to make decisions about the kind of writer you want to be, which inevitably counters with what kind of a human you want to be.

You can tell a lot about a person’s humanity through their writing, and I am finding it difficult to be vulnerable on the magazine. That’s the place where I am supposed to be able to talk about rape and sexual abuse openly, from the perspective of fictional characters and I am finding myself afraid to do it.

I am afraid to push past that invisible line and use fictional characters to talk about sexual abuse because I don’t want to trigger anyone or hurt their feelings.

At the same time I am fully aware that if we don’t press the button on our triggers, we cannot fully heal from them. I push my own emotional buttons all the time when I mediate, and each time they become less and less powerful, but does that mean that I should be doing that to others through my writing?

At the end of the day I guess the question I am asking is whose voice is more important, that of the audience or the writer? What do you think?

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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