I am doing something stupid. I am attempting to write an entire novel in 1st person Point of View (POV) — not just one, but two. I’ve experimented with writing books from multiple perspectives, but those were 3rd-person POV. I no longer like writing that way. I can achieve far more intimacy with 1st person. I wish I’d been skilled enough to write Roxx that way.
I’ve gotten pretty good at 1st-person, but I have this secret view that all writers do 1st person using the same voice in each book, that voice being the author’s, of course. My bright idea is to try to improve by having two in one book, which will force me to differentiate. No idea how to do that, so I’m starting by bleeding the writing through the characters’ very different emotional filters. Foster is a romantic and spell-bound by his partner. Dark sees the world coloured by the images in her brain and washed by her strong emotions. Foss, being an extrovert, focuses on the story around him. Jeanne, as an introvert, focuses on one person or event and the emotional context that paints it.
Shit, this is sounding even harder to do when I write it down. Anyway, here’s my 1st bit of writing as my Jeanne Dark, the literary love of my life. Anyway, here’s the little bit that doesn’t give away the plot. (Dark is all about the plot.) Keep in mind, as always, this is a rough 1st draft, right out of the pen, so to speak. Smooth happens in editing.
Foss woke me up outside of the restaurant, which was quaintly named “Chennai Concourse.” Initially, I was nonplussed as to my whereabouts, as I had been dreaming I was back home. We were in my grand-père’s house, just south of Paris. It was raining, with the sound of a strong summer storm setting a percussive rhythm against the window. I always loved the sound of rain – it was a brown sound that always calmed me, but rich with vibrant greens the color of unripe apples. I recall many such nights when I was a little girl, unaware that everyone did not see colors when it rained and others could not smell the freshness of fruit at the sight of backlit drops streaming against the windowpane.
As my friend shook me, I remember calling him by my grand-père’s name and seeing the puzzled look he gave me before I realized where I was. I needed his assistance to exit the car, as the chilly autumn rain stiffened my hip. Initially, I thought to have more coffee to ease my pain. This late at night, it would likely end up as another long, fruitless battle against insomnia. Foss was a dear, however, and practically lifted me out of the taxi. Had I not objected, I believe he would have carried me into the building. That would have been very embarrassing. I pushed the trigger my sister designed, which released a dosage of my medication. It would be enough to get me through the evening’s activity, at least until we reached the hotel. If the pain continued, I hoped that perhaps Foss would give me the massage he promised me the day we met. I waited, but it never materialized.
We had moved quickly to meet Mr. Narayanan’s wife, Helen, before the police could intrude and question her. Our contract with the U.S. government required us to cooperate with all legal authorities, but there was nothing to prevent us from staying ahead of them. Surprisingly, we found the restaurant doing a robust business. It was clear that no one from the police or the Institute had thought to tell the poor woman about her husband. Foss insisted that we do not, saying, “The police likely have a protocol they’re following,” which dictated in which order they revealed information. When I inquired as to why they would have such an insensitive policy, he said, “Well, they obviously consider her to be a person of interest.”
I nodded my understanding and excused myself while he ordered a curry dish of some sort that he insisted I share. I had not eaten since our arrival in England, but neither was I hungry. Of course, while he busied himself with naan bread, I had the waitress take me to Mrs. Narayanan. She was of interest to me as well. The restaurant was dim enough that I could see clearly with only my lightest sunglasses, so I had little trouble navigating through the crowded space. Helen was a small woman whom I thought was of mixed Australian and Chinese descent, judging by her accent, as well as her physical traits and the particular sense of touch they elicited. With some visuals, for instance human faces, I feel a sense of touch that varies according, I suppose to the response they elicit in me. As a result, I can remember faces distinctly based on the sense memory that goes with them. People with typical Chinese features evoke a feeling that I have been touched along my left arm, whereas with Koreans, for instance, the feeling tends to be along my left shoulder. It is an instantaneous response, like a greeting that quickly passes. Of course, there is great variability among people and so this is hardly infallible. Helen, for instance had typical, lovely Asian eyes and dark hair, but almost bronze skin more characteristic of other regions than China. Still, I was certain in her case that I was correct.