I started working on a new book a while back. I wrote about 80 pages before I realized.
This is the exact same Voice of my last book.
In LEGENDARY DAYS, the main character might say something like: I'm walking through the halls like everybody is watching, like I'm the main man on the screen or whatever. And hell if I even give a damn.*
It took a long time for me to perfect the frenetic Voice that is Head, the main character. It's something that I can slip into in a matter of seconds, making re-writes for LEGENDARY DAYS pretty easy. However, the problem came when I noticed my new main character was speaking in the exact. same. way.
Something like: And then this fool comes up to me without even saying a damn word, just plops his cup right down in my bin and keeps all smiling and laughing with the rest of his cabron friends.*
After I stopped crying, I realized that the voice of one character doesn't need to be the same as the next character (shocking, I know. With this sort of writing advice, I'm about to start charging for this mess. You'd pay. I know you'd pay.)
And that's fine. I've already started creating the Voice of my new MC. And I like it. The tricky part comes in trying to figure out how much of Head's character is actually my writing Voice. I enjoy intense, fast-paced language. The type of writing that pops off the page and kicks you in the face. And I try to write that way (some people find this very annoying. They get a little piece of this... And, no, that isn't me.)
So that's my goal when I'm writing. I want something like a punk rock song. Funny, with genuine emotion. And, voila - Head. I really think Head is a memorable protagonist, if only for his completely delusional outlook on the world. I don't want to write a six part series about the dude or anything, but there are definitely aspects of his character that my writing needs.
When I re-wrote the first chapter of my new book, it seemed flat. Very boring. Like nothing somebody as Awesome as myself would put down on paper. Seriously, it seemed off. So, I went back to the previous version and found it much more enjoyable.
But, the main character's Voice could've EASILY been Head's.
Of course, this is where editing comes into the picture, right? If I looked back at early drafts of LEGENDARY DAYS, I'm sure I would see huge holes in the Voice. And - hopefully - as I'm moving forward in the submission and (egads!) publishing process of LEGENDARY DAYS, I'll be teamed with an editor who will be able to point me to places where the Voice still needs some work.
But this doesn't really answer the question, does it?
And if you've been following this blog long enough, you'll realize that I rarely (okay, never...) end up with an answer to the question I bring up.
Prepare for Times to Be Changing.
Okay, not really. I'm still stuck on this one. My best bet is that my writing Voice feeds each and every character I write. So there will always be a little bit of that frenetic "Head" voice in my characters. As I continue to flesh out this story, learning the motivations and risks for each character, I believe I'll start discovering the voice of my new M.C. Right now, I'm just trying to convince myself I'm not a complete hack.
You know, the biggest part of any 1st draft.
*neither of these are actual lines from my book. But please don't steal them. No, really. Unless you want a ninja chop to the neck or something. Yeah. That's exactly how I roll.