Narrative Choices


I am making progress on the first draft of my third novel, and I hope to reach my goal of 80 pages drafted by the end of the month. I do understand, however, that this initial draft will need a great deal of work, especially given the immediate narrative problem I am confronting.

I began the novel as a multiple first person narration, in the epistolary style of the late Victorian era, using diary entries and letters to frame the character’s thoughts. While this gives freedom to explore a variety of perspectives, it also is making movement of the plot difficult.

As a result, I began drafting a few chapters in third person omniscient, which allows me to push the events along and present commentary and needed information for the readers. I am not sure which will be best for this piece, so I am writing sections in both perspectives. I, obviously, will not keep both when I begin revisions, but I anticipate a very difficult problem when I am forced to make the choice between the two.

In the meantime, I will continue the drafting process. I will follow the advice I give to my first-year writing students—to get something down on paper. Without something written, no matter how chaotic or problematic, no revision, no redrafting, no re-seeing, or no editing can occur.


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