The deeper I sink into Sand of Bone revisions, the more trouble I’m having maintaining voice. It’s fairly easy in large sections where revisions require a simple rework and rearrangement of what’s there. But the places that require a bridge of new material–or an entire new chapter–I am struggling against the omni voice of Chant.
Writing in omni isn’t something I expected to so fall in love with. Chant was an experiment, my chance to try out what author Sherwood Smith uses and speaks of with such excitement. (And if you haven’t checked out her novels, you owe it to yourself to try them.) But as I settled into the flow–developed a better feel for narrative shifts, grew comfortable with choosing whose eyes and ears and mind would be shared with the reader–I indeed fell in love with its dual nature. Omni is at once direct and removed, simple and complicated, rich and streamlined. It’s the broad focus of a panorama lens combined with the encompassing intimacy of a gentle kiss.
Now, with Sand, I feel as if I’m learning third all over again, which in some ways I am. There is such a temptation to slip into omni, to re-write the entire thing in omni. But shifting from third to omni isn’t a simple thing. The switch would require a complete overhaul of its structure, timing, character revelations, important plot notes… And I don’t have a storyteller–the behind-the-prose character telling the story. Based on my experience with Chant, that lack is enough to kill the chances of omni working well.
So, no, Sand will remain third–at least until I reach the end of the rewrite, I suppose. Then I’ll beg some beta feedback to see if it works. If not, I shall shelve it, work it on Chant’s sequel, and Drunkard, and any other thing I can until I figure out what the heck I want to do with it. Why not do that now? Because I want beyond all wants to have the rewrite finished rather than aborted.
Either way, I am very glad I can choose to push it or not push it. At this point, were I under a deadline, Sand would never be what I want it to be.
But the no-omni is indeed bugging the crap out of me. I never dreamed third-person would feel so constricting and clunky.