20 March 2012, Development - 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.
When the character develops over a novel or a series of novels, the voice of the character will/must change. For example, in my Aegypt novels (Ancient Light Series), the characters Sveta and Klava are introduced as 10 year old children. In a later novel, they start at 14 and end up at 18. In the final novel in the series, Klava is over 20. The point is that the voice of a 10 year old must be different than the voice of a 20 year old (unless they are mentally disabled). Klava and Sveta's voice changes very gradually through the novels. In fact, in Warrior of Light, Sveta's voice as well as her maturity changes significantly. That's the point, with a change in the maturity of the character, you should expect some change in the voice of the character.
If the character is still picking their nose after significant etiquette training, you have a character whose voice shouldn't change. The point of true character development is that the character has a significant change in maturity, personal understanding, educational understanding, etc. These kinds of novels are my favorite. I really enjoy novels where the main character discovers themselves (self discovery novels), significantly improves themselves (improvement novels), or finds their special skills (self discovery novels). I especially like novels similar to those of Andre Norton where the main character discovers their special magical, mental, physical abilities and uses them in the climax and resolution of the novel. The change of voice in every case must be gradual--especially in a single novel. I'll discuss that 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/.