Hearing Voices

No white coats are needed, but I’ve been hearing voices. Yes, voices. Well, allegedly I’m a writer, and I’ve been schooled that voice is an important part of any literary effort.

I believe I had a good voice (not singing of course) when I wrote An Odyssey of Illusions from a third person limited point of view. The story of Levi Reising started with him as a six-year-old and ended when he was ten. That wasn’t too difficult because I’d been both. In the sequel, yet to be submitted for editing, my voice starts pre-pubescent and ends at eighteen. Again, not too difficult. Voice also comes from having been in the locations where I put the main character as I move him through his odyssey. Complete control, say what!

I’ve experimented with voice and point of view in my latest work. I wanted to work in first person, but there are other characters with feelings and opinions vital to the story. A preliminary reader asked if I’d been there (Vietnam) saying, “I was captured by the story so much the first time that I thought it was a true account, even though the preface stated that it was fictional.” That reader had been there.

I’d read a number of first person accounts, know a number of people who had been in Vietnam and had personal military experience, so I became sure I could duplicate the voice of one with that experience.

I tried first person peripheral, but again, there are too many significant characters for my voice to be in that point of view. To make the story work, the teller had to be part of the story and know the thoughts and feelings of each of the major characters.

Thus, I became Hacker Lee Goor, a wounded Vietnam veteran, to present Echoes of Nam in third person omniscient point of view.

Now I have to pull myself back and let Hacker Lee Goor have his voice to tell the multiple Echoes of Nam.

Don’t roll over Mrs. Kellogg.

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