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Voices and Styles

I’m having a weird problem with the third Edge book.  I can’t quite settle on the right style, or is it voice?  Book one THE EDGE OF REASON, I wrote in a standard third person style.  Then I discovered (thanks to George R.R., and the Noel story in BUSTED FLUSH) that I wrote really well in first person.  So when I rewrote THE EDGE OF RUIN I did a combination of first for my protagonist, and third for the other three view point characters which seemed to work okay.

Now I’m into THE EDGE OF DARKNESS, and I can’t settle on the right style.  At first I thought I would write the entire book in just Richard’s point of view and in first person.  But as I got deeper into the book I realized I needed someone on the opposing side so we could see what they were up to.  This time I didn’t want to do the first and third mix.  So I decided to set myself a writing challenge and try alternating first persons.

The problem is making sure the voices are sufficiently distinct.  I’m cheating by putting a chapter heading to indicate which man you’re following at that point, but I feel like I ought to be good enough not to have to flag it in that manner, but just let the voice reveal the speaker, so to speak.

I’ve been reading C.J. Cherryh’s FOREIGNER series and really enjoying it, all written in third person.  These are very interior books with a lot of internal dialog which I find really hard to do, and she does beautifully.  In some ways this third Edge book is about the interior life of these two men, so now I’m wondering if I need to cast the entire thing in third person, and make the writing lesson learning how to handle internal dialog.

Mumble, mumble, mumble.  Such are the problems of a writer.  Not Earth shattering, I know, but something that’s keeping me awake at night.

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