In the end, I found myself doing both. For the first draft, I wrote it the way he would – succinct, factual, almost military. There was still a bit of the poetic element from My Fugitive, though even that felt forced while writing that initial draft.
That mismatch of styles made it kind of uncomfortable to write, like putting on a pair of pants that didn’t quite fit. In a way, though, it actually worked out better to do a more concise version first; it made it easier to keep the facts straight from one book to the other.
Now, in the editing stage, I’m taking the bare framework I created with the first draft and fleshing it out. Some scenes are staying more or less the same, butith others, I’m slowing down, digging deep, and instead of skimming over the scene, I’m exploring further into the turmoil and emotion that run beneath the Fugitive’s stoic surface.
For example, in the initial draft, I covered the Beachwalker’s second inspection of the Fugitive’s injuries in just a couple of brief, unemotional sentences. While editing that scene, however, I realized that having those injuries examined a second time, after the agony he’d suffered when the Beachwalker first cleaned his wounds, would be a deeply painful and frightening experience for him.
So instead of skimming over it, I lingered, diving deep into a moment I’d mentioned only briefly in My Fugitive. It swiftly turned into a tense and apprehensive ordeal, in which the Fugitive’s mind was drawn painfully back to the torment he experienced when other, less gentle hands created the injuries the Beachwalker was examining. It added a whole new layer of suspense and emotion to a formerly trivial scene.
So, to answer the question that inspired this series of posts: will the writing styles match between books?
To a certain degree, yes. I’ll still be using the same poetic, first-person, present-tense style you enjoyed while reading My Fugitive. But there will still be some differences, some subtle, others less so. Next time, I’ll talk a bit about the differences in the ways the two protagonists perceive each other, and how the order in which I wrote the books has affected that so far.
In the meantime, I'm curious to hear what you think. Which is more important - for the writing style to remain consistent throughout a series, regardless of which character is telling it? Or to give each character a unique voice?
Personally, I'm doing my best to strike a balance, but it's an interesting topic, and I'd love to hear your thoughts.