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Writer at Work: Voices

There are a whole lot of activities that make up a writer’s life that involve little or no writing. For example:

A few days ago my WIP decided that possibly it wanted to be 1st person after insisting for two and a half drafts that it really must be 3rd. (Gee thanks, muse!) But hey, I am always game. What story wants, story gets. And I knew it might solve a few narrative issues I’d been having difficulty with.

Unfortunately, switching POV is not as simple as changing all the “he”s to “I”s. I’d need to have a strong sense of my main character’s voice. And in this particular case my main character is a teenage boy living many centuries ago (to the extent that the events in the story could theoretically be in our reality) in Scandinavia. Though, for fictional purposes, speaking English.

So what writerly task did I find myself engaged in that evening? Looking up interviews and other videos on YouTube with native Scandinavians speaking in English. Preferably young-ish and male. Which, okay, is not the most accurate representation, but it’s about as close as I’m going to get to developing a sense of rhythm and sentence structure and anything else that might be useful.

All in a day’s work!

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Originally published at Megan Crewe - another world, not quite ours. You can comment here or there.

Comments

thepix
Jun. 9th, 2009 07:39 pm (UTC)
LOL...this just happened to me, too. My finished ms, though. Uhg! Those muses need to speak up when we START the ms. The funny thing is that when I started my first rewrite I started in 1st, then a third of the way through changed my mind. Now I'm kicking myself.
megancrewe
Jun. 11th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
Yeah, it can be frustrating! I think I've decided it does still word best in 3rd, but trying 1st out did bring out some character development and voice things I hadn't had before, some of which I've been able to bring back to the 3rd person version. So it was still worth it!

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