Sunday, 25 February 2018

Psychic Distance.

Dunvegan, Skye
I found a new writing term today. Psychic Distance. I discovered it in Emma Darwin's blog - This Itch of Writing.  I've been been re-writing Dark Pool into  VIKING SUMMER over the last couple of months, and since reading her blog I now know I've been playing around with psychic distance for one of my characters!

I got to 25 in my first edit and decided my heroine wasn't coming through clearly enough. Things happened to her, but there was no sign of how she felt about it all. Big mistake! (The original story was written  over twelve years ago when I hadn't been very long published!)

After thinking for a while I decided to concentrate on my heroine. After all, it was her story, and not Finlay of Alba's tale, though he was quite important. Making her my POV figure, using first person for her and third person for anyone else, would focus attention on her and get me closer to her. I sighed, because it meant a lot of work.  I was working on chapter 25 when I made this decision, and then had to go back to the beginning and re-draft each of her scenes, but it certainly got me thinking as if I were in her shoes. Her sometimes snippety voice started coming through and I liked that. (Perhaps I have a snippety voice too?) As Ms Darwin's blog says

"The closer-in we are to that character's consciousness, the more the scene and how it's narrated is coloured and shaped by that character's personality."
So the second draft concentrated on altering my heroines scenes. I also discovered something else I had to change. There was a dramatic incident, very important to the tale, and I had reported  it from two character perspectives and thus reduced the impact of said incident. 
I decided the incident should be with my heroine; I incorporated some of the description of the second character's discovery into her scene,  and omitted the rest. That made it much more her discovery and gave it more impact. Odd how these things leap out and demand to be changed. 
Technically then, I am on a third draft now and closing in rapidly on the magic words - the End.

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