25 March 2012, Development - Assumption of Truth and Change of Voice in a Novel
Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel.
I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, visit my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.
Sometimes (rarely) character voice must change. You may and should change character voice in these circumstances:
1. Development of the character
2. Mental illness
3. Physical or mental effects
4. ...there may be more, I'll think of them as I write about the others.
In my novel, Aegypt, the main character did not have a change in voice. In fact, none of the characters had a change in voice. The change in the main character was real, but it didn't meet any of the criteria above. The main character, Paul Bolang, did have some development as a person, but there was no change of being that might be caused by mental illness or physical or mental effects.
The main point in the novel Aegypt is that I never let the reader know what was really real until the very end of the novel. In Aksinya, the reader understood, at least from the point of view of the novel, that Aksinya was sane and the demon was real. In Aegypt, I don't let you know that Paul Bolang's impressions are correct. The reader is in the dark as much as the main character. As the plot unfolds in Aegypt, the reader gradually begins to believe Paul's observations but never entirely. The climax gives the answer to the great question in Aegypt: what is truth?
This is a great comparison between novels because in one novel (Aksinya), the reader assumes the main character is right, and in the other (Aegypt), the reader isn't certain the main character is right. The fun part is you can read Aksinya in the previous entries in this blog, and you can buy and read Aegypt. In this way, you can see exactly what I'm talking about. You can also see how in a novel the reader's question of truth and assumption of truth makes the novel.
How to project the character's voice is an important tool to a writer. I'll discuss this and the other circumstances for change of voice, tomorrow.
I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com/, http://www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.