First off, I want to thank Jason for his post on Friday. Really, it blew me away. I think all of Killer Year is full of Grit Boys and Girls.
Okay… here is the rest of my current thoughts. How consistent does a series need to be? In WHEN ONE MAN DIES, most of the book is first person from Jackson Donne’s point of view. About a third of the book comes from Bill Martin’s point of view as well, in third person.
Currently, my second novel is told along a broader scope. It’s still a Jackson Donne novel, but it involves several points of view. The first person Donne sections are now becoming jarring to my current readers and I’m thinking about moving the Donne sections to a close third person.
My question is to you guys as readers. How consistent does a series voice need to be to you? Would it be jarring if the first novel of a series is in first person and the next isn’t?
I can think of a few series that have done this. Including Lee Child, who’s first novel A KILLING FLOOR was in first person and second (and my favorite of the series) DIE TRYING was in third.
We also got to see Elvis Cole from a third person point of view in THE WATCHMAN.
In both cases, I had slightly different reactions. When I started DIE TRYING, I remember being shocked that Child had changed voices, but kept the character the same. It seemed to me that he wasn’t being consistent, but by the end of the first chapter I was hooked and I read the book in two days. The shock faded and the book really worked.
I loved THE WATCHMAN from the beginning and really thought it was cool to see Cole. There was no shock, but interest as Crais tried something new. I thought by this point in the series Crais had earned Cole’s third person point of view.
I can’t explain it, but what do you think? Can I get away with it? Can you think of other examples of switches in points of view like this with the main character? (Pelecanos does it with Stefanos, but it seemed to me Stefanos had been relegated to a minor character after the first three novels.)
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