Yesterday a friend of mine lent me the first season of Pushing Daisies.
It's a quirky show about a man who brings dead things back to life with a touch. If he ever touches them again, they're dead for good. Sounds cool, right? There's only a few problems with his secret skill, if whatever, or whoever, he touches stays alive for more than a minute, someone else dies to take their place. Yup problems. Especially when he saves his mother in the first episode and accidentally kills his sweetheart's father, only to have his mother kiss him goodnight and die, too.
Here's a link to a clip.
This show is an amazing example of voice. It screams voice. I sat mesmerized by its richness and absolute quirkiness. I felt like Dr. Suess had created a show for adults. It was awesome. Then I encountered my own problems.
I sat down to write and found myself imitating the voice from the show. BIG problem. My WIP is not quirky, nor does it have a voice-over narrator that provides odd and amusing side-notes. At least it didn't until yesterday afternoon at half-past three.
I couldn't stop myself from adding little details that completely threw off my scene. I mean, when your character is in a serious sword fight and a non-existent narrator suddenly shows up saying things like:
"Little did Trin know, that in twenty-three-point-two seconds she would be distracted by a husky voice in her head that would lead to seeing stars. Not nice romantic stars, but the type that come from being smashed upside the head with edge of a dull sword blade. If she had known this, she might have finished off her burly opponent in twenty-two seconds and headed off to breakfast, but she didn't, and now we'll join her for the stars."
It was fun, but really messed up my book. I had to delete everything I wrote yesterday. AND, I'm still doing it today. I think I'm going to have to apply for shock therapy or something. Or I might have to devote my entire day to reading from my own WIP so I can find my own voice again. Sheesh.
It's like I picked up a weird accent or something. Have you ever done that? I do it all the time. Once on a trip, my hubby and I stopped for gas in Tennessee. I ran into the store to buy some gum and came out two minutes later with a drawl. It lasted for a good week. I couldn't help myself. Really. I tried to stop. It didn't work.
I just hope my written drawl doesn't stick around that long. I don't think my characters will survive. I'm not sure what the non-existent narrator will do to them. They might even start mouthing off at him, and that's just plain silly. Where do I go for therapy?