How do you find someone who doesn’t want to be found? A girl searches for her missing addict brother while confronting her own secrets in this darkly lyrical novel. Rachel has always idolized her older brother Micah. He struggles with addiction, but she tells herself that he’s in control. And she almost believes it. Until the night that Micah doesn’t come home.
With nothing more to go on than hope and a slim lead, Rachel and Micah’s best friend, Tyler, begin the search. Along the way, Rachel will be forced to confront her own dark secrets, her growing attraction to Tyler…and the possibility that Micah may never come home.
What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style? Developing a unique voice is something that I think a writer is always working on. I don’t know. I don’t know if that can really be taught. I love it when I read something and I recognize the author’s voice right away. Oh yes, this is Hemingway. See his short, clipped sentences. But this is something that takes time.
What I’d suggest may seem counterintuitive, but for an exercise, I would try and copy the voice and/or style of an author you admire. Don’t worry, you’re not stealing or doing anything wrong. The writer’s work will become a great teacher. This will do a couple of things. It’ll really help you focus on exactly how the author has achieved his or her voice from the specific word choice, to sentence structure, to syntax and diction. Once you mimic it, you can vary it and try changing it. This will all help you in finding your own voice and style. I remember doing this once in a writing class for my MA. I took a section from Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, which is a wonderful novel, by the way. It’s one where he’s basically listing off in a very syncopated rhythm the things the men had to carry in the arm, both physically and emotionally. Well, instead of writing about men in an army, I chose an elementary cafeteria and what the kids carried. I shifted the tone to a more humorous one, but I modeled O’Brien’s voice. I loved it and learned how to cut off the excess, to write tighter. I would suggest doing this process with a couple of different writers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR (Carrie Arcos):
Carrie Arcos lives in Los Angeles with her family. She writes young adult literature and is an adjunct professor. You can find more about her atcarriearcos.com