You have to know whose story you’re telling. This is not something you find out. You have to make the decision and then you have to carry it out.
The key to creating a singular voice in a scene is to work out what the tone it is you’re going for. Tone is established through emotion. This can be within the characters, or it can be within the reader. Or both.
Whatever POV you choose, within a scene there has to be that one singular voice. You may think in first person this would be easy, but the danger is you just become the observer. Your character has to be involved with what's happening, even if it's only internally.
In third person multiple POV you not only have to make sure you stay in the POV assigned to each scene/chapter, you also have to make each POV distinct. In real life friends/workers have similar views and opinions. In fiction that would just be confusing.
Even in omniscient, you need a singular voice. You can’t just jump from one person to the next. Omniscient is written from the perspective of a storyteller, a separate character. Even when you talk about the thoughts of an individual character, you have to do it through the filter of the narrator.
Switching emotions should be handled carefully. If a character starts off sad, and through the scene she cheers up, we should be able to see what provokes that change. Literally. In real life people might just pull themselves together, in fiction that looks like cheap and lazy writing.
If a character goes from a crime scene to a love scene it can be jarring. The scene with the decapitated body may end Ch.4, and Ch.5 may start three days later in bed with the detective and her boyfriend, but time does not work for the reader as it does for the writer. To us, she only stopped throwing up over a corpse one page ago. You have to create the sense of time passing or events happening.
When other characters are doing things, arguing or dealing with subplots, you still have to bear in mind whose story it is. Yes, the other characters could have a whole conversation without your POV character commenting, but it’s your job to reference it back to the MC. It’s not just what's happening that matters, it’s how it effects your MC, how your MC reacts, what your MC thinks about what just happened. If it feels inappropriate to crowbar your MC in there, change the scene until it feels appropriate.
Emotion and tone need to be consistent, and when they need to change, they need to transition smoothly. It’s one of the hardest things to learn because most of the time you do it instinctively without giving it a second thought. Which is why it’s so easy to miss when you go back over the story.
And why is it so important to have this singular voice? Because the reader cannot identify with more than one person at at time. You want your reader to be involved in the story? Then they can't see it from everyone's perspective and stay emotionally engaged. Neutral and objective is fine for a court case, for immersing yourself in fiction, not so much.
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