Sunday, November 13, 2011

Major's Voice is Inconsistent

The above is written on a sticky note, sitting beside my right elbow as I type this post.  It's a flaw I found in my WIP during the re-write of chapter 22.  Chapter twenty-friggin-two, people.  This book only has 31 chapters.  I'm almost done for petesakes.  And now this. 

And the sticky note? It taunts me.

Sure, Major is not the MC.  Thank goodness for small favors.  But he's a major secondary character.  He needs to be consistent.  (Don't they all.)

I was complaining about this yesterday morning to my daughter via FB chat.  I believe my exact words were 'I don wanna go back and fix all that'.  Her first answer was 'then don't'.  To which I replied, 'I gotta'.  And she, being the lovely spawn of all things good within me, said something to the affect of 'then get to work', cracked a whip and told me she'd talk to me later.

Easier said than done.  Going back to fix all the places where he has dialogue seems like a gigantic mound of steaming manure I have to shovel through.  And before I can even do that, I have to figure out which Major is the right Major.  Is he all deferential and proper, or is he a snarky bastard?  Or does he only get deferential when his feelings are hurt, and otherwise he's cheeky?  And there's another bit to consider that I can't talk about here because it would be a massive spoiler, but I have to take it into account when determining his voice.


Anyone who thinks or says that writing is easy should be horse whipped - with a real horse.

On the upside, I discovered this inconsistency before I was finished enough to send this WIP out into the world.  Now I just need to decide whether I'm going to stop everything to fix all that, or finish with these last few chapters before I set myself to shoveling.

I'm thinking forge ahead.  That's my general rule when faced with something like this - make a note and forge onward.

Which is why that stupid sticky note is sitting next to my elbow...

Taunting me.

Anything taunting you these days, or is it smooth sailing where you are?


  1. It's been a long time since I last visited your blog. I like the changes you've made here.

    FWIW, I can totally relate to your frustrations. Especially since I'm in the throws of editing my manuscript.

    Since this is my first novel, I know it has to be pristine before sending it out into the publishing world. This said, I hired an editor. His name if Geoffrey Fuller and he is devoted to helping new authors succeed. His prices are very, very reasonable when compared to the rest of the editors I've checked out.

    If you're interested, let me know and I'll forward his info to you. Best of luck on your editing journey.

  2. Im sorry your sticky note is taunting you. I should learn how to forge ahead, but I always end up going back and fixing before I move on, lol. Good luck with your last few chapters! Very exciting =)

  3. I feel your pain because I've been there. And you know how I came to fix him? I talked about him with someone who had read my book. Sometimes you just need that second opinion.

  4. Forge ahead, B.E. - and keep those questions about his personality in mind. Everytime you come to him, think about those questions and see which always wins out. If you stop and fix now, you might regret it later on - if you know what I mean.

    Glad to hear revisions are trucking along - well done, you :)

  5. Two bits of advice. One) which dialogue do you like the most where his character shows and go with that. Two) go with gut.

  6. Gotta love those sticky notes. So necessary, but at times, so evil! Writing is so, SO hard. Glad you caught it, though, and can fix it.

    I'm waiting on editorial notes right now, so really, nothing much is going on this week. Other than the nail-biting, lip chewing, second guessing anxiety, that is. :)

  7. Ahh, I have a whole list of things I need to fix that taunt me daily!

    In every novel I write, I get comments about voice inconsistency. I think it happens in the first draft when you're forging ahead and lose track of what you've already written.

  8. Ahh, I have a whole list of things I need to fix that taunt me daily!

    In every novel I write, I get comments about voice inconsistency. I think it happens in the first draft when you're forging ahead and lose track of what you've already written.

  9. I am in your boat, too! I am revising, figuring out that there's a whole lot of wishy-washy going on with one of my characters. Pass me the shovel, please!

  10. I wonder about this for my MC in Countless. I am finishing up my other novel now, but when I get time to come back to Countless I am going to do some of those mega 5-page long character profile things to really pin it down, and then change as necessary. I'm thinking about rewriting in first person, too.

    Good luck nailing down your snarky/deferential character! I can totally see someone being both, btw :)

  11. YOU CAN DO IT! Show that sticky note who's boss. I know exactly how you feel with the taunting, though. Right now my WIP is like a fat lazy husband and there's no more romance in my "marriage" with it. Revisions are driving me nuts, but we deal with the sucky parts of writing in order to enjoy the good parts :) Good luck!

  12. As you said, at least you caught it on the earlier side. Maybe it was niggling at you and that's why you were having trouble finishing?