Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Narrator's voice.

One of the things I'm trying to find in Faerylander is my narrator's voice.

I had the same problem with Star Axe.  In both cases, they were more or less my first books.  Star Axe my first book ever, Faerylander my first book in 30 years.

I found my voice after that, in both cases.

In the case of Star Axe, I had hardened the writing, crystallized it so much I took much of the life out of it.  I finally allowed myself to be more "sloppy" -- is the word I used.  Less precise and more relaxed. 

It's better for the reader if nothing really slaps them in the face.  So they can settle into the story, knowing the writer is competent.

Because that's really it.  The reader want to know that he is in the hands of a "relaxed" narrator, who gives a sense of knowing where the story is going, that he is going to deliver on a story.

The tendency at first is to try too hard.  Too hard for effects, for artistic language.  Coming up with the most precise language can actually be off-putting.  Make it smooth -- make it easy to take.

But clear language with a little thought behind it Is artistic.  It may not seem like it.

There are stylists out there, but for a storyteller like me, I think it's a mistake to try to stray too far from a casual conversational style.  That doesn't mean folksy, it just means getting to the point in the most natural way possible.

Hard to do once you've already written something.

So you start to look for a kind of "fuzzy" voice -- or "sloppy" -- or conversational, if you will, that the reader can slip into without being self-conscious.

I just have to feel like it's something I'd say.

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