I’m coming up for air from editing to say hi and get some advice. I am working through my debut novel’s substantive edits and am experiencing another growth struggle. I knew during the last draft that I didn’t feel as strongly about my main character as I should, and my editor’s notes about showing not telling are challenging me to make the reader care by slowing down in the high intensity moments. I’m pleased with the action growth, but the dialogue aspect is really challenging me. My editor wants me to include more internal monologue and internal emotion between significant statements, but I’m uncomfortable judging how much is too much. I picked Leviathan Wakes back up to see how that story did it, and I’m barely seeing any–or at least not as much on the internal monologue in italics. None of my writing guides address this in much detail. (I picked LW because of its Hugo nomination and because my book is also Science Fiction).
I also picked up The Bourne Identity again, progressing another hundred pages to break the mid point, and feel like I learned from a great resource. I wrote the above paragraph Saturday, and then today rewrote the scene where I had trouble, and am really pleased. The scene was a major moment between protagonist and antagonist and the dialogue had to be just right. So much of what is said is significant that the first time through I had a little too much IM, which slowed the dialogue down. Bourne really helped me see how to write fast paced dialogue while including just a touch of IM.
My editor made a comment of, “More in [pov's] perspective,” which referred to narration like internal monologue but not italicized (sorry, not sure how to classify that). I’m guessing this will be an aspect of my next “voice” development, but I’m struggling to get past the hump where I understand how and when to use IM–italicized and non. Any suggestions on books to read or just perspectives on this aspect of style?
Timothy C. Ward writes SF/F/and Horror during his day job, and podcasts in the evening on Adventures in SciFi Publishing. His first short story publication is "Cornhusker: Demon Gene." His first non-trunked novel, Kaimerus, is described as “Firefly crashes on Avatar and wakes up 28 Days Later.” His dream is writing full-time where he can snowboard and play with Huskies. Currently, he lives in Des Moines and his wife lets him have a Husky wall calendar, so he’s “this” close.