Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Voices

I've been struggling with character voice in the narration of The Magpie Book's draft. I should be expecting it, as I struggled with the previous book to get the distant male narrator to show us his dazzling personality.

I know it's the draft, and there are so many other things to be worrying about than the main protagonist feeling shy. It's a pet peeve I have in writing—I dock marks for poorly constructed worlds or narrative voice that could be anyone. If I won't let others get away with it, I can't very well give myself a pass.

That's why the draft is dragging. Not the plot requiring more words than I intended or a growing desire to be finished and moved on to something else. The draft drags because the main protagonist drags his feet. He mumbles. He delivers things in an almost monotone instead of a monologue. Yes, it's third person, but it doesn't matter. He should still be in the words because it's his story. He's hiding. And that's frustrating.

It's an issue to address in the redraft, but that doesn't decrease the annoyance of being so aware that it is an issue. At this point, I should know what he sounds like.

The idea slated to start drafting after I complete The Magpie Book is forming. Shifting. Changing. Settling. It'll do all that again in the draft, but at least it's not such a vague, ethereal being anymore. I also think I may have had a crack in the nut that is the stalled project that got shelved late last year. It may, after a little more simmering time, be ready to speak to Agent M about again.

What about you? How goes everyone else's writing? On sabbatical for August or are you slaving away at the keyboard no matter what the temperature?

3 comments:

Sarah K said...

Oh, I don't even want to start thinking about Cove right now. I've barely written a word in the last four weeks.

I think I only have the natural motivation to stay focused for a few weeks at a time. Or maybe I'm just waiting for Kent's story to snap into focus, and when it does, the urge to write it will be back with a vengeance. Who knows? Right now, I don't.

I'm glad to hear the other plotlings are coalescing.

Sarah Bromley said...

I haven't had an MC who drags his feet, but I do have one who's kind of elusive and so guarded that it's hard to get to the emotions and thoughts behind the action of the story. It makes for a much slower draft than my previous project and is driving me quite batty. But I keep pecking away at this MC. Where I live, it's too frickin' hot to do much else right now.

Leslie said...

I don't even know how to get to the draft stage, let alone the redraft stage. I mostly stick to reading. Maybe I'll try NaNoWriMo this year or something (or write books for infants?).