Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Who's on first?

I have spent the last two months rewriting THE LEGACY OF THE EYE in first person point-of-view. It was a lot of work, but I think I have a better novel now.

The change that struck me the most was character voice. It has much more strength in first person. No mater how much I tried, in third person it always sounded like I was telling the story. My brother even said he heard my voice in his head while he read the manuscript. In first person, I could see the sentences that did not sound right for a specific character. Not only thoughts, but descriptions, too. People see the world differently and will describe things with more or less detail given the importance they project onto the thing. Their word choices are also individual, even if they have the same upbringing.

One thing that stalled my rewrite was the fact that I needed to lose three point-of-view characters. In third person, the chapters alternated between five different characters, but in first person I had to restrict myself to the two protagonists. One of the characters I lost only had a single chapter and one beta reader already had suggested I rewrite that chapter in my main character's perspective. This rewrite forced me to do just that, and to realize I was scared to feel the scene.

To lose one of the other characters, I needed to write three new scenes and expand the role of a different secondary character to get some of the missing plot detail across. These new scenes enriched the novel and made the plot move forward with action instead of internal thought, which is a good thing.

However, the last character who lost his voice is the one I miss the most. And I worry he will be misunderstood if the reader does not know his motivation. I am waiting for feedback from beta readers to assess whether I weakened him too much. But this is not his story and I need to remember that. Sorry, darling.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! You've been really productive. I've never tried writing in first person. Hope you get good feedback from your beta readers. And awesome you're posting.