I don’t typically write stories from one character’s perspective, choosing instead to dip in and out of character’s heads when the story demands it. When I started Voro, I began writing it straight away from Casey’s point of view. It wasn’t even a question in my mind as to who was going to tell the story. It’s a far more personal story for Casey, so he should be the one to tell it.
But things aren’t as straightforward as that. As you read through the story, you’ll note that it isn’t just Casey’s story — it’s Max’s story, too. While Max isn’t presented as the main character — certainly not from a narrative standpoint — she’s just as important as Casey to this story. This particular story couldn’t exist without Max, and obviously not without Casey, either.
So why did I choose to see things from Casey’s POV rather than Max’s? Most of my stories, while third person omniscient (as I wrote about in a previous post), still center around a strong female lead. In Voro, the female lead is relegated to a supporting character. This was mainly because of Casey’s position within the world — he’s the one with the knowledge about the monster. By focusing on Casey, I could have someone who knew everything about the creature slowly trickle out revelations as he tracked them down. Concurrently, his motivation for pursuing the creatures is more personal. If we were to see things through Max’s eyes, she’d see little but a killer. Casey sees something quite a bit different. I felt this perspective was stronger from a narrative sense, and makes the eventual reveal more powerful.
I also liked the idea of telling the story from Casey’s POV for the relationship development aspect of the story. Casey is a very troubled person, who has had minimal success in the past connecting with people. Max, on the other hand, is a relatively well-adjusted woman, albeit with some trauma in her past — though that’s clearly something she’s been able to move beyond. Casey is still working on his trauma and how it affects his relationships with others. I thought it would be interesting to reside, for a time, inside the head of someone so stunted emotionally. He’s not a young man — at nearly 35, he should be someone who has had numerous long-term relationships to inform his personality. But due to circumstances, he hasn’t had even short-term relationships. He’s clumsy, like a teenager, in his approach to relationships, but still has the experience to understand that he’s clumsy. Teenagers, while awkward, have little comparison to judge their awkwardness against to know just how awkward they are. Additionally, the people they typically get in relationships with are on equal footing. Casey is at a strange junction where the person he starts to connect with is more confident, so he is even more unsure of his own mind than he might’ve been had this happened when he was nineteen.
I liked the idea of exploring this type of character. When I think up a story, it isn’t just the scenario that pulls me in — Dragons. In space. — it’s also the characters. In fact, my focus is often on these characters and how they’ll confront the story they’re in — how does Samantha deal with dragons? In space? For me, that’s as important as the story itself. People are at the core of everything I write. How they feel and what their backgrounds are is as important to me as why there happen to be dragons. In space. So in the case of Voro, I wanted to see how the horror of the story was solved, but I also wanted to see how Casey navigated his own struggles, big and small. I’ve explored characters like Max before — confident women who know their mind and are extremely capable. But Casey was a character I hadn’t spent much time inside the head of. He made the most sense to be the main POV for both narrative and personal exploration reasons.
Thanks for reading these postings about my writing process. I hope they’ve been interesting and that they gave a little deeper insight into Voro. I won’t be writing any more about Voro — I don’t want to analyze it to death and diminish some of the magic of the world-building for readers. But I will post next week about the series that’s currently going through edits — the four part epic fantasy series I hope to start releasing this fall and conclude releasing by no later than January. And I’ll touch on my projected schedule for the Mission’s End series as well. Thanks, again, for reading!