I’m now getting right down to the final edits of ‘Death at the Happiness Club’. The most difficult part about this is getting enough distance from the novel to read it as if you’d never seen it before. I did manage this past week to look at the first chapter in this way and I realised I might have used the wrong voice. Because I usually have three point of view characters in this mystery series, I like to try and give each of them a distinctive voice, but this is sometimes quite difficult. I’ve noticed for instance that Christopher and Amaryllis are beginning to sound a lot more like each other as the stories go on.
I found it quite encouraging when I tested part of each of the sections of the novel using a website called something like ‘Who do you write like?’ I found each of the three point of view characters came out as someone different. The best thing was that Amaryllis’s section was like Ian Fleming – but I suspect this had something to do with the fact that the chunk of text I pasted in mentioned the CIA several times. The Maisie Sue section, which I’m currently working on, came out as being like Dan Brown. But I think Ican put that right if I work hard enough! Christopher’s section turned out like Jane Austen. I’m not sure his ramblings are worthy of that! Though I suppose he usually likes to move at the pace of a Jane Austen character.
Talking of voices reminds me that one day I hope to persuade my son, who has a lovely voice, to help me create an audio-book version of at least one of the Pitkirtly mysteries (he doesn’t know this yet). I might start him off on one of the short stories so that we can see how long it takes and what the results are like. I just know he has the right voice for this!