I've been finding more and more of these types of constructions in published fiction, and it really bugs me. There's nothing gramatically wrong with it, but it's just poor form, in my opinion. ESPECIALLY in a first-person narrative. People just don't talk or think that way. At least I don't.
Am I crazy? Do these types of constructions get on anybody else's nerves?
Would Hemingway begin a sentence with a dependent clause?
The narrative voice is the way the story wants to tell itself. It's the "voice" you are hearing as you read it. It includes, but is not limited to, POV, first or third person, past or other tense, style, sentence structure, all that good stuff. None of which are worth worrying about one-on-one: they fall into place once the voice is identified. It could be some sarcastic onlooker, the child nobody pays attention to and speaking in a child's way, it could be cold and clinical depiction, it could be a breezy recollection later in a character's life. But once you have it, you're on your way. This happens kind of automatically when things work. But, unlike so much writerly advice, it can be of use to a writer when things aren’t working.
You're actually conflating voice and POV, Linton. Here's a simple way of keeping them straight: POV is who's telling the story. Voice is how they tell it.
The best analysis of POV I've ever read is Chapter 2 of David Jauss' ALONE WITH ALL THAT COULD HAPPEN. He talks about how POV is so misunderstood, and how is it more about the distance between the character and the reader than merely who is telling the story.
Hell yes, it's perfectly okay to write an entire novel using nothing but your index finger dipped in shit, if that's what floats your boat. Who cares if anyone wants to read it? I mean, seriously--just imagine what a great career Leonard might've had if he hadn't had to endure all that danged edumacation as an English major at U of Detroit!
The first words of the introduction to Elements of Style:
"This book is intended for use in English courses in which the practice of composition is combined with the study of literature. It aims to give in brief space the principal requirements of plain English style."
By professional, I was referring to Journalists and technical writers. So few fiction writers actually make a living at it.
Telling fiction writers they needn't study craft and technique is liking telling painters they don't need to learn drawing.
I'm just saying writers ought to learn some of these rules before they decide to break them. Here's the way Strunk said it at the end of his Introduction to Elements:
" It is an old observation that the best writers sometimes disregard the rules of rhetoric. When they do so, however, the reader will usually find in the sentence some compensating merit, attained at the cost of the violation. Unless he is certain of doing as well, he will probably do best to follow the rules. After he has learned, by their guidance, to write plain English adequate for everyday uses, let him look, for the secrets of style, to the study of the masters of literature."