Saturday, July 23, 2016

Finding a New Narrative Voice

As you may know if you follow my writing career, other than a few short stories, I've always written with one voice: Harry Shalan's. And people who know me well and read my books say that they hear me when they read Harry, so it's not much of a stretch to write him. Yes, hes' fictional and yes, he's married and yes he's good at a lot of things that I'm not and yes he's considerably younger than I, so he and I aren't the same person. But our sensibilities and attitudes toward the world are identical. We have the same moral compass and the same sense of humor and the same tastes in everything to women to food.

Which is why my new writing project is an exciting challenge for me. I'm writing with a third person narrator who is limited to knowledge of the thoughts of the main character. Part of what makes it tricky is maintaining the balance between allowing the narrator as a character to have a voice of its own and allowing the thoughts and level of development of the main character, who is currently an extremely gifted five-year-old right now, to bleed in. As she ages, so will her language and understanding of the world. But the narrator will remain static.
Sound, Wave, Voice, Listen, Digitalkunst
Another big change for me is the overall tone of the piece. It's not that it's humorless, but it's generally a much more serious take on the world than Harry's. Because I tend to be a sarcastic and humorous person, writing in a voice that isn't like that is tough sometimes. As I said, there are occasional humorous elements, but they are much more gentle and event-driven than in my Shalan books, in which the humor comes from the main characters' responses to situations.

Boxer Dogs, Dogs, Good Aiderbichl, Sanctuary
This is what Eddie looks like in my
head. He's modeled after my late
dog Ginger visually and in
I'm enjoying this change of pace, but if you're a fan of Harry, Dee, Jenn, Otis, and Eddie, have no fear. I've no intention of retiring them any time soon. I enjoy taking on the persona of Harry Shalan, Private Eye, the slightly bent but gallant modern knight, as he travels around town in his noble steed Ellie saving the day. So please be patient as I stretch my literary legs a little and see if I can find a different voice that's just as satisfying.


  1. Excited for you. :) Can't wait to read it!


    1. Can't wait for you to read it either. I need an objective eye.