Rainy this morning. Nice. No hail. That's a good thing. No internet, either, until just now.
Thank you, dear friends, for all your supportive comments. I'm so happy to have you with me on my journey, as I am right next to you on yours.
So I bought some books over the weekend. First let me say that the bookstore situation in OKC is woeful. The conference was held in Midwest City, which is really an extension of OKC, a thriving, growing community with new strip malls going up everywhere. Within a mile of my mom's house are the high school, a junior college and the Air Force base, as well as a new Target, Kohl's, Home Depot and Lowe's...you get the picture. A lot going on in that area. Yet to find a large bookstore one must drive 20 minutes on the interstate system to the other side of OKC. It's crazy and annoying.
My brother, Tony, and I picked our books based on some author names floating on the wind at the con. Steven Erikson was recommended by Minz as good dark fiction, so Tony picked up a couple of those. I already mentioned that I chose a Laurell K. Hamilton and Lois McMaster Bujold (what a frickin' tongue twister that is!). I cracked open the LMB, The Sharing Knife, first.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear but one of my main character names in Ea's Gift. Dag is the name of both LMB's male lead and a supporting, but important, character in my book. Not that I have a problem changing it if need be, but it crossed my mind that certain people might wonder if I copied.
I'm stumbling over the name, picturing the Dag from my book. Not only am I seeing my character, but all his knowledge and experience is automatically applied to this character. Quite weird. It won't make me put the book down, but I might have to rename him in my mind, maybe read it as just plain "D" or something.
Besides that, I'm really enjoying the flow of the story and the characters, and I noticed something by the end of Chapter 2. Over and over at the con, (and before that on the internet) I heard the advice to compare yourself to an establish author's style. To find an author whose voice is most like your own, and then use the comparison as a shorthand to describe your style. Great advice, but I've never been able to equate my voice with another writer's. I believe I've finally found a similar voice.
I make no comparison of quality for that is not mine to judge, but it felt strangely familiar. Not the story or the characters, but the development, the language, the feel. It seems a bit silly to compare myself to such a well-established author, and even sillier that I have never read such a well-established author, but there it is.
What do you think of this advice, and how has it changed the way you see your writing? Do you worry it will make you derivative?