Narrative voice… I or she, or even he?

When I first began writing my novels I always wrote in the first person and later when I decided to change this and write in the third person, it was always from a singe character’s point of view. The only exception is ‘The Double Act’ which is in two parts, the first from Genet’s view, the second part from Joost’s. However, in my unfinished novels ‘Lucky Portbradden’ , and ‘The Story of Frederico Milan’ many characters are involved in the narrative.

While travelling a few days ago I began my story of the Radwinter family, and without any planning or conscious decision I found I was writing in the first person again, and as Peter Radwinter; and without planning or deciding, the story commences in the present tense. Now I know I have written some fuming pieces about how annoying the present tense is and how artificial and ridiculous I find it but with this story the narrative of the action is not in the present tense. Peter talks about his situation and his everyday life, but when he comes to tell the story he tells us using the past, just as if he was here with us now and actually speaking. I’m not sure how this is going to work, or even if it will work, but I’m finding it a very interesting exercise. I’m fully prepared to scrap it all and start again from a different perspective  but let’s see how it goes!

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