Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Page From My Notebook

My novel is written from multiple points of view (3) and I've now discovered (rather late in the day!) that they are unbalanced in terms of the space they take up.
One is fine, he has short narratives of 300 words interspersed at even junctures in the text. But the other two vary wildly in their word count. When I try to even them out so it flows better it messes up the plot. They are a couple living in the same house, so the content i.e whats happening next... flows fine but I want their sections to be more even. Will it work if I leave it as is? Or is there another solution! My (self imposed) deadline is eight days away. Any suggestions kind bloggers?

12 comments:

Niamh B said...

It's always interesting looking at these things, but it sounds to me like you have one staple steady character and two others that come nearer to the camera and move further away at different stages, and that is absolutely fine - there's no point giving someone extra space if the story doesn't need it - the important thing is that we get included at the most important steps in their journeys through. If you didn't give space at a certain time to a particular speaker it's probably because you weren't interested in what they had on their plate right then, and your readers will most likely feel the same. Challenge the even-ness of the pace more so than giving even space to characters - you won't have to worry about appeasing the actors about their lines when the film comes out - that's the director's problem!!!
Only 8 days from the end, good on you!
By the way - I know nothing - I should have maybe said that at the start.

Michael Farry said...

I think you should leave it as it is. The very fact of their contributions being uneven says something about the characters surely. In my experience two people in a house do not have equal amounts to say . . .

120 Socks said...

Okay, my advice for what it's worth, is that the desire to keep things balanced whilst a good aim in principle should not be a rule. I got very caught up on size of chapters, some being longer than others, or really short, in the end once I did what I could with them, and then let them dictate. Your discovery may lead you to think that you need to do more with some of the voices, and possibly you do, or possibly you don't, you will only get your answer by what the words tell you. Please feel free to ignore all this. I am about to do final edits on chapters 1-3 myself, and I have a niggling feeling that I need to really turn chapter 1 on its head, which will f**k up the deadline big time!

Brigid said...

I'm not sure that you need to even it up.
In real life, some people take up more of the story line on a day to day basis, it sounds right if the story flows. Have you tried recording it on that Audacity programme? I find that good for spotting flaws, especially in dialogue.

Words A Day said...

Niamh B
I think what you say about the characters coming nearer to the camera and moving further away at different stages, it makes a lot of sense, esp interms of what I'm writing... and true the story itself doesnt need it...maybe instead of trying to make a pleasing shape of this thing I should let it be as is. Thanks for your comment, I found it really helpful. "No nothing" my ass!

Words A Day said...

Michael
Thats true, and similar to what niamh has said, there's perhaps a truth in the unevenness... the structure would be imposed rather than natural if i were to alter the contributions. I'm glad I posted the question, I think I was on the verge of butchery! Thanks a million Michael.

Words A Day said...

Socks
I think I was about to get caught up just as you described!...and agree about keeping a balance not becoming a rule. You've reminded me of a quote about content dicatating form...must look it up!

Goodluck with your own final edits, and that chapter one! And thanks for the comment... this has been so helpful and I'm surprized at the consensus of opinion (and v. glad because it's less work!)

Words A Day said...

Brigid
I feel you and the other bloggers on the right track, and I'm delighted with the advice. I downloaded the Audacity, but forgot all about it! Will give it a go tonight. It could be just the right stage for me to listen to it. Thanks so much!

Old Kitty said...

ERm..... er... I like your graph!
:-)

I have no idea - a chapter per character? A section? I think!!!

GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So long as your gut instinct is happy is what I say!!!!

Take care
x

Kim said...

My you have writing down to a science it appears! Love it! I like what Michael Farry has to say!

Faith Pray said...

Firstly, I am so amazed at your charting skills. Wow. If only I were so organized! I think if your story is working, if you feel good with the way it flows, then by all means, let your POV's stand. And good luck with the self-imposed deadline!

Emerging Writer said...

What an interesting discussion. I have used a rope before in a workshop to illustrate the ups and downs of a story. Much like your chart.
I'm not sure you can measure by words though as dialogue can take longer and move faster than action and description.