19 March 2012, Development - Telic Change and Voice in the First Scene
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.
The most common reason for a change in character voice is when the character develops in a novel. This development is much different than character revelation. The development I am talking about is the classical development of a character where we see a telic change in the character. A telic change is only supposed to happen to the protagonist (please keep it to the protagonist). A telic change is a change either to a telic fault or that results in a novel resolution. Usually they are the same. The concept of a telic change comes from Aristotle's study of art (plays). Aristotle defined the change of the protagonist as the key character change than produces the resolution of the tragedy. For example, in Oedipus Rex, the reconciliation of fate, that is Oedipus' recognition of his faults and sin results in his self-mutilation (he poked out his eyes), loss of his family, and loss of his position (kingship). The telic change resulted in the resolution of the play. The change in the character is significant. In this case, however, there really isn't a change in character voice.
I'm going to mention a little more about telic change before we move back to the main subject (change in character voice). Most novels deal with some type of telic change (or they should). If you have a novel and the main character does not have a telic change, rewrite the novel. The whole point of a novel is the telic change. For example, in Aksinya, her telic fault is her sorcery (symbolized by the demon). The telic change in the novel is the redemptive change in her that allows her to be free of the demon and free from sorcery. There is no change of character voice in Aksinya either. Remember, I said that a change in character voice is rare. I'll get to the first point tomorrow.
We'll look more at voice in the first scene in the creative process in Aksinya 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/.