22 March 2012, Development - Reasons for 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 you have a character with mental illness, the voice of the character might change through the novel--or it might change from scene to scene. This also applies to a character who has a radically different public and private personality. In some characters, the voice might change when addressing other characters of a specific type. For example, a man or a woman who is attempting to seduce a member of the opposite (or same sex) might have an entirely different voice than when they are speaking to a friend or acquaintance. Some writers understand the feel of voice in a character and portray these variances well--many do not.
I mentioned before, a writer does well to imagine their characters are like players in a play. The players take on the roles they are given and the author makes they act out the story and plot within the scenes. An author sees these scenes and writes the characters each with their own voice. When the voice changes (due to mental illness, public vs. private personality, etc.) the author is making slight controlled changes in the actions of the character such that the reader picks up on that character's changes and perceives the character properly. That is the whole point of voice, after all. The writer is using the voice of the character to reveal and identify the character in the novel.
How to project the character's voice is part of the problem. 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/.