It was a choice when I started writing August Fog not to stay with first person or to switch between POVs in each chapter. Those are fine techniques, but I find that it slows the story down and makes me have to think too much about the scene. I wanted to read the way life happens... at once. Like a movie you'd sunken into. It was a tricky thing to figure out. I don't want people to be lost. I don't want them to not know who's talking, but I try to write it as clear as possible. Evidently not for some and that sucks, but it's the way I like to write.
There's a scene in December Rain when Monica is hungover and nervous in the presence of Quinn after not seeing him since their break-up. I wanted the funny and tense elements from their inner voices to roll out in real time. It's the same way a voice-over plays in a film. I worked on this scene for a long time to make sure there were paragraph changes with clear character direction before an inner thought. As we all know a paragraph changes in dialog when the subject or person changes. I use that rule to guide my inner conversations with direction or action to delineate the changes.
One thing said recently that did make me cringe was that I give all my secondary characters an inner voice and everyone is talking at once. This is simply not true. The only characters with inner voice are the three main characters Monica, Quinn, & Alex. To me this is their story. And I restricted Alex's POV the most because he's more of a mystery. He reveals himself only when it's most important. He will be speaking up a lot more in April Snow, but in order for him to have his own full voice I'd have to give him a novella of his own. Maybe in late 2015... he'll get his side of the story.
I never have more than two people in a scene sharing their thoughts and in scenes like the bbq in August Fog or the group meals with Monica's friends I restrict it to just Monica and Quinn. They're our focus and it's their story we're glued to. I also think the reader knows their voices and that inside back-talk is what gives humor, sadness, and depth to the moment... just like life.
Okay, that's all I have to say. I took a risk and some people seem to love it. That thrills me that they got it. I wonder... sometimes when I read in a place where there are distractions or I'm tired when I start a new book, even traditional writing can get me confused. I get that. My style is probably geared toward those who submerse themselves in the characters. I've noticed those readers who love it say those words a lot. *smiles* I hope new readers give me a try to see for themselves.