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Friday, April 12, 2013

Narrative in a Sequel

Started over again on editing "Seer, Tyro, Fiend" with a new objective in mind. Since it's a sequel to "Dabblers," there comes the issue of picking up the threads from that book to bring the new reader up to speed, i.e., introducing characters and historical references, as well as recapping for someone who reads series in sequence.

But the Windsong Lake Series, as I've dubbed it, is written in first person point of view. Stefanie must relate some things that cover both groups of readers, but I started to wrestle with the tone. The original manuscript has narrative sections for this purpose, but in editing, I realized these departures from relating the current story might be breaking things up too much. Rather like when an actor on stage does an aside that addresses the audience. Okay for a Shakespeare play, but what about written fiction?

I reworked a few passages in the first two chapters, but I found I still cannot get past the occasional "aside." If I try to interleave past events and descriptions of characters into the immediate action, it becomes very stilted and awkward, constantly having sentences that begin with "I remembered..." or "I thought about..." The balancing act I came up with is to start off with something like that, continue the middle of the description  as a narrative, and then bring it back to the current scene at the end of the paragraph.

Is this how it's supposed to be done? I don't know. I just hope it works.

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