Chat with Marsha Lytle: What Does Your Manuscript Sound Like


In December, we chatted with Laura Diamond and Dawn Allen to get their thoughts on Voice. This week, I interviewed Marsha Lytle. I met Marsha through the Mid-West Children’s Authors Guild. She is currently a fellow member of Novel Clique and is never short on wonderful story ideas.

Marsha Lytle, is a librarian by trade, which is a pretty good place for a writer to be exposed to many great books. Reading is her favorite way to spend time. She has been published in Soft Whispers Magazine, Better Horses Magazine, the Once Upon a Christmas anthology, and the October Nightmares and Dreams anthology. She belongs to Novel Clique critique group, Kansas Author’s Club, Savvy Authors, Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. and Romance Writers of America, including Mid-America Romance Authors, From the Heart, and Celtic Hearts chapters. She is currently working on four projects: a middle-grade historical, Just Plain Lizzie, a YA, Sara, Adult romance, Kylie’s Song, and adult political thriller novel, Passion for Glory.

What kind of fiction do you write?
Maybe a better question would be what don’t I write? It just depends on what muse is talking to me at the time. I have so many ideas on the back burner, plus I am interested in doing non-fiction historical as well.

Do you have a favorite quote about creating active voice?
Not really. I have dozens of writing books but rarely have the time to read them.

Do you read other books during the first draft of your story?
I never stop reading, but don’t let it interfere with writing.

Do you have any tips to help develop narrative voice?
Read!

Do you have a technique for establishing a clear narrative voice, such as writing in first person?
I do frequently write in first person, but when I’m writing in third I try to let the reader get inside of my character’s head through internal dialogue also.

How can you tell when the voice of your WIP (work-in-progress) is off?
I count on my critique group to bluntly tell me that it isn’t working.

Is there a particular author whose character dialogue you admire?
Mine would have to be YA author, Janette Rallison. I am a big fan of her books which have fabulous dialogue, great characters, and wonderful plots.

How can people learn more about you and your writing?
I’m on Facebook, also WordPress, and to allow my characters in Kylie’s Song a chance to speak, I gave them their own WordPress blog as well. Please feel free to drop by and ask them a question.

Do you use internal dialogue to help readers get inside your character’s head? Are you able to continuing reading while working on a new WIP? Do you have a critique group who keeps you on track?

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10 comments on “Chat with Marsha Lytle: What Does Your Manuscript Sound Like

  1. Nicole Mc says:

    Happy to see Marsha on here! Your endless creativity amazes me Marsha!!

  2. Jessie says:

    Voice is so important. Sometimes it’s hard not to let what you’re reading influence the voice you’re writing, but if you know your characters inside and out, it shouldn’t make a difference. I never stop reading.

  3. kellyhashway says:

    I’ve become a huge fan of first person narration. I can really let my MC’s voice flow that way. Although, when I write short stories, I use third person and stick close to my MC so his/her voice can still shine.

  4. Yes, reading, reading, reading helps not only in writing one’s own dialog, but in all facets of writing! I’m in a reading jag right now, and really enjoying it. Nice to see that Lytle is writing all kinds of material.

  5. LM Preston says:

    Hi Marsha! Glad you dropped in. It’s wonderful you can keep all those stories in your head while writing. It’s nice to know you still use a critique group. Can’t wait to check out your character’s blogs.

  6. lbdiamond says:

    Nice interview!!!

    I agree–I count on critters to tell me what needs work on my MSs. 😉

  7. Beverly says:

    Great interview, Natasha.

    You are certainly a busy writer, Marsha. I enjoyed reading about you and your books.

    • Marsha Lytle says:

      Thanks for the comment. I am going a little crazy right now with a new book that popped into my head over Christmas, an historical novel set in 1969 Belfast. I think these twoeople are my almost all time favorite characters and after four weeks of non-stop writing I got the first draft finished.

  8. All is good advice and even having heard some of it before, it made me remember. It’s so easy to forget those important things as you get caught up in writing and life.

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