Many years ago in literature studies at University, the lecturer made us focus on Voice, Feeling and Tone in fiction writing. As I understood it, good authors develop the characters’voices, showing their values and attitudes through subtle injections into character descriptions and dialogue. The problem I faced with Cave Hill was that there were 12 main characters and it was important to show each had their own style and convictions, and how these had changed as a result of the experiences during the expedition and in their later life. A longer novel would have allowed for this to be done in greater depth, but in the rushed world of today few people have time for mega-tomes.
So in the story, take Sonny, the second of the Toowoomba Grammar boys on the expedition. He’s part aboriginal, but more cattleman than Murri. As a teenager he is pushy and bold, but confused about how to link into his aboriginal heritage. He is tentative about admitting to his ancestry and surrendering to the Dream Time influence. As an adult he is very composed with a a successful military career behind him. He is relatively modest and disciplined but has not lost his assertiveness. During the reunion he reveals his shame at how he treated Anya at Cave Hill, and must face up to the consequences of this in his reunion with Denny. So I hope in this one character the complexity of mind and spirit that is inevitable to being a human.
I hope this Post encourages the reader to go back perhaps and look at some passages that they may have rushed over. Surely a good novel keeps resonating in your mind.
Perhaps I add some comments on Feeling and Tone in later Posts.