Justine Larbalestier on POV
Justine on good unpublished books
Jay Lake and Jenn Jackson have been recursing on the subject of books being "good enough."
...there's more, but that will get you started. My answer is, there's no such thing as "good enough." If you are not writing the best book of which you are capable, if it's not making you sweat blood, it's not "good enough."
Swing for the fences, and you might get on base.
But I have been called compulsive in the past.
Also, jaylake talks about voice here and here.
Just to throw some mud on the fire, I work in a totally different manner than Jay when it comes to editing. My first drafts are usually crap, in terms of style; I have to go in and do a lot of work with pick and shovel to get them presentable. I've learned, through years of effort, to do a good deal of this editing *while* I am writing, but it slows me down enormously. I have to write a crap sentence and then twiddle it, revise it, look for the right words, etc etc. (see recent post on writing for speed for a link to an example of what my editorial process looks like.)
For me, voice emerges in that editorial phase as much as in the initial writing. I find better ways to phrase things, quirkier and cleverer and cleaner images, stronger verbs. I can bring out the character voices as well, and perfect the through-line (which is a first-draft challenge for me: y'all are so linear.)
As a complete aside, sickness is the mother of invention. I really wanted Thai hot and sour soup (I'm wobbling on the edge of con crud, still, but so far extra sleep and lots of OJ and carrot juice have been holding the line for the home team) but didn't want to take my sneezy self out in the rain and the dark to get some. So I dug out a can of Campbell's chicken rice, and doctored it with a pint of lobster stock from the freezer, two sliced carrots and two sliced celery sticks, some ginger, Thai red chili paste, lemon rind, cilantro, and lemon juice.
It wasn't too bad.
Now, off to watch Mythbusters and answer some of this email.