Switching POV and voice.


I started a new fanfic crossover piece in late June, and started working on Chapter Two early in August, after JulNoWriMo was over. This story, ‘A New Mexican Alien in Metropolis,’ is Smallville/Roswell fandoms, and a sequel to a charity auction challenge story that I did last fall, ‘Arrow through my soul.’

For a while, the new story was going great – Michael Guerin had come to Metropolis to start a fight with Oliver Queen, but Oliver wasn’t available, so I was introducing him to Chloe Sullivan, (who he kind of grudgingly tolerated,) Davis Bloom, (who he almost got in a fist-fight with, and then bonded over the graveyard shift life with,) and last of all Lana Lang, and sparks definitely started to fly between Michael and Lana, with much flirting and witty banter going on without my feeling like I had to work at it at all…

Until the dinner at the Italian restaurant started to bog down in sharing of canon trivia between their two universes, so desperately I tried to shift ahead suddenly to a scene with the two of them breaking into Maria’s Metropolis apartment… and that scene absolutely stalled. Sigh.

I switched to another project for a few days, and yesterday it occurred to me that maybe one of the problems with ‘Metropolis’ was that I was writing it in third person, generally following Michael’s perceptions. ‘Arrow’ had been first person POV, with Maria narrating as she travelled into the worlds of Metropolis and Smallville, Kansas, and I think that worked well. So today on the bus I started going through what I’d written for ‘Metropolis’ and changing “Michael” and “he” to “I”, “they” to “us”, and all other pronouns as necessary to make it first person.

In the process, I noticed some interesting things happening, that other changes in wording and phrasing were coming up, because the words that I’d initially used weren’t the ones that Michael would use. (That’s one benefit of writing in a fandom that I’m so familiar with, that the character voices are so natural without my having to come up with them.)

I also ran into a bit of trouble with the very first scene of chapter one, because that was NOT third person limited POV of Michael Guerin. The story actually opens in third person limited POV of Chloe Sullivan, how she runs into this agitated guy outside Oliver Queen’s office, (who turns out to be Michael,) and calms him down a bit. So I suppose I’m going to have to rewrite that one scene much more seriously to get it into Michael’s narration.
Wish me luck with that!

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