Writing and Design

Steve Ince, freelance writer and game designer, posts thoughts and comments on these two meaningful aspects of his life.

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Name: Steve Ince

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The right tone

Last night I stayed up late (for me) and spent a little time on bits of a novel that I've been fiddling with for some time and yet has not progressed very well at all.

Much of the problem has been getting the right tone and voice for it and last night I think I managed to do just that. I was tempted to plough on with the novel regardless of this problem, but the task of re-working and editing would have been too great if I couldn't get most of the way there on the first draft. Prose is fiddly like that.

When I write dialogue for games, the important thing is to get into the heads of the characters before doing so and understand their roles in the game and how they relate to one another. Once done, writing the dialogue becomes so much easier and almost writes itself. Prose, for me, is more complex and harder to get right.

I can understand why an increasing number of novels are written in the first person - the prose becomes the main characters account and not some faceless/nameless narrator. Unfortunately, because I have more than one main character POV to handle I didn't want to go down the first person route. I don't think switching between characters works in first person - it implies that these two characters have colaborated to tell the tale in the book. Also, if the writer can't make the two characters different enough it can make the novel confusing.

My solution to the problem was to push the narrator POV hard up against the character's POV which actually gave the prose the tone and voice of the character slightly removed. I'm hoping that this will work particularly well when switching between the characters.

Perhaps I can make some headway, now.

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