He Said, She Said…

As a quasi-continuation of my previous entries about perspective and character building, I’ve quite nearly reached the stage of actually writing my novel(s), as opposed to endlessly pondering over plot points, characters and other such details. Though I have (and have had) started writing actual narrative, both specifically for the current MASC Chronicles and for previous incarnations of this Epic Saga, in recent years I’ve only ever gotten around to writing a few pages, most of which was description and inner monologues.  There does exist a nearly completed novel (roughly fifty typed pages, albeit printed out from a word processor) written nearly two decades previously, and while I never got around to actually finishing that tale (school and life in general got in the way), forward thinking as I was back then, I had hand written (and subsequently typed) chapter notes on the denouement and an epilogue. Eventually I’ll need to re-read that initial story (which was an expansion of the initial short story) and see if anything can be salvaged from it.

Anyway.

As I’m just nearly plotted as much as I can plot (and as the entire narrative arc is quite massive, at least as far as I’ve plotted it), I do feel that I’ve plotted and pondered enough to actually start writing the first novel in the first series of the three-part Epic Saga. I highly suspect that there will be a subsequent blog entry detailing why there are to be a total of thirty-six novels within this three-part Epic Saga (which I had initially thought would be the topic of this week’s blog entry, but another quandary has arisen that should be addressed)

Oh. There I go, digressing again. Oops.

Anyway.

The quandary at hand is (as alluded to at the start of this entry)  the question of perspective: namely, who will narrate the first part of this Epic Saga? As I’ve decided to try my hand at writing in first person perspective, it’s been quite a puzzlement as to which character will be granted the honor of narrating the stories. To date there are two main characters vying for this honor: a male character and a female character (hence the reason behind the title of this entry). As these novels will be primarily in the mystery genre (with other genre elements thrown in), I’ve decided to employ the traditional private detective and sidekick model. Though I haven’t quite settled on which of the two aforementioned characters is the private detective and which is the sidekick, nor have I decided on whether the narrator is to be the private detective or the sidekick – as there is in mystery series in which either (and sometimes both, or neither) option is the case.

Nevertheless, whichever character ultimately ends up winning the narration duties, he or she will have quite an impact on how the overall story will unfold. Again, it’s back to the question of perspective – whether it be the private detective or the sidekick narrating the story (and moreover which character occupies which role) will affect what the reader (as well as the characters themselves) knows and doesn’t know (or shouldn’t know but does inadvertently), all of which makes my job as the one charged with knowing everything about everyone (or at least as much as I’m allowed to know) much more challenging.

Again, as the first series of this three-part saga is tentatively (though almost most definitely) set in a Steampunk-infused (and fantasy-tinged) alternate historical universe from ours, this gives me the freedom to diverge from the true historical aspects of the era in which the first series is set, which is mid Victorian-era England. In other (not so long-winded) words, I am not bound to adhere to the actual mores and mentality that actually existed in the Victorian era, though perhaps use some aspects from that period and bend them ever so slightly so that they fit the universe I have created (and create it I have – I’ve drafted broad ideas on the socioeconomic system, and general rules to which the inhabitants of this universe are to adhere).

But I digress. Again.

At least I’ve narrowed it down to two main characters to duke it out (so to speak) for narration rights. Of course, I could  choose the path of least resistance of have both characters narrate, though I would rather not have dueling narrators within the story (I’ve read a few novels that have had multiple narrators, and more times than not I had lost track of which character was narrating and often spent more time flipping back and forth within the story to figure out what exactly was going on). On the other hand, there is the temptation to tell the tale(s) from both perspectives, but separately, though if that were to occur, that would undoubtedly double the number of novels and (potentially) double the amount of plotting and such – I’d probably need a large whiteboard to diagram the exact timeline and sequence of events, though technically speaking, “time is not a strict progression of cause and effect… from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly… timey-wimey… stuff” – yeah there had to be a Doctor Who reference somewhere).

Well, this is where it gets complicated. Eventually (hopefully) I’ll figure it out. In the meantime, I shall plot on.

Wish me luck (I’m gonna need it). [Ooh, first Star Wars reference… I think].

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