Status Report: Lunhina (d1) 14,075 words.
I finished writing the first scene with my fourth POV: Svaran. I am reasonably happy with all four voices, although a little concerned the “narrator” leaks through. Really, I should change my style of description and even my vocabulary from POV to POV, to make them fully unique. I am not sure I can pull that off, though. I’ll wait and see what alpha feedback I get, then decide if that is necessary.
I had fun with Svaran. I gave myself a challenge, one that originally stems from Brandon Sanderson’s online lectures, and it was this: write the scene with the character and don’t EVER mention (in inner monologue or in exposition) what the character is doing. See if you can write it so that the reader figures it out on their own. This simple-sounding exercise was quite fun and really changed the way I approached the chapter. In the past, I would write a scene in order to communicate a specific plot step to the reader. That works, but readers enjoy figuring things out, it is what humans do in life and in social situations, and we like it. So with this exercise, I wrote the scene without any regard for the reader, instead I just planted myself in the character’s head, and watched her do her thing. It was surprisingly natural.
I think I got it down and I am excited to share it with my informal writing group to see how early on they can tell me what Svaran’s “deal” is. Or if they get to the end, and can’t, well then I dropped the ball.
Anyway, it is one of a few POV/voice exercises I am working on to try and get my character voices stronger and more story-driving.