Saturday, April 18, 2015

Sharon Flake: Creating a (Non-Stereotyped) Authentic Voice

Sharon Flake is an award-winning author with millions of books for kids in print, including The Skin I'm In and Unstoppable Octobia May.

You have to walk carefully when you write about someone outside your cultural and ethnic group. Look to people you know to vet your work.

Sharon Flake has an amazingly strong voice. She grew up in a family of storytellers, though she didn't know it at the time.

Sharon was influenced greatly by community and family. "Those voices were loud...Those voices were loving...Those voice were help-you-when-you-can...Those voices were quiet..."

Sharon Flake Storytelling
If you're telling a story, get to the point fast. Don't waste time. Don't tell things that aren't important. BOOM! Sharon actually tell us, Boom. Get to the point!

Voice is not just what people say but what people do.

Sharon doesn't think we create voice but reveal it. She knows very little about the story she's going to write. She's very comfortable flying blind. As she writes, the voice is being uncovered.

So, how do you crate an authentic teen voice? Sharon says we know you can go and listen to teenagers. You can read others work. You can trust your gut. Sharon suggests watching your words because no matter what, your character has to sound 15.

"I will not tell a typical story about any of my characters."

No comments: