Points of view

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It has been a very long time since I posted anything. Lots has changed. Mostly my second draft is well and truly shaping up into something.

Something, that is going to need more editing. But that is for later – like a few months from today later.

I have been thinking about point of view a lot recently. My WIP is in third person, primarily following the main character. At some point during the last six months I added a journal to the chapters – in first person by another of the characters. Even though I keep weaving those journal entries into the story, I have my doubts about using multiple points of view.

Yes, there are stories that do it very well.  The Game of Thrones books – have a bazillion points of view. And this is where I admit that I gave up on the books because I couldn’t keep the story lines straight in my head.

A lot of YA is written in first person (Divergent, Hunger Games, Half Bad trilogy) and I sometimes find it hard to fully immerse myself in the story.  I feel like there is something missing – which is strange because Hunger Games was one of my favorite series.

I am currently reading The 5th wave by Rick Yancey and  just realized that this book has two narrators. For the first three pages of the second narrator I couldn’t tell that it was another narrator. I actually had to flip back and reread because all of a sudden the location of the character didn’t make sense given everything that had happened in the first section of the book. The words out of my mouth when I realized there was a second narrator were not complimentary.

So if multiple points of view confuse and irritate me when I am reading – why on earth am I writing in multiple points of view?! I keep telling myself that the journal entries are to help set up the second book. Yes, I realized  that the WIP is 1 of 2 books. I am going to finish this draft using the multiple points of view, but the more books I read with multiple narrators the less convinced I am.

Does anyone have any thoughts of multiple points of view or writing in the first person?

 

 

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Second drafts are…

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Not fun. A giant jumble of confusion. Slow to write. Do they count for Nanowrimo? Maybe I should make it count for Nanowrimo! Is it cheating if you start Nanowrimo in October?

My brain hurts. I am over thinking my second draft. I want the vision in my head, with all the exquisite details that I can see, on paper so badly. Instead I get – banal verbal vomit. Can it be verbal if it is typed?

Any who my brain did what any good brain does when it doesn’t want to play with an old toy anymore and went on a very merry side trip to – NEW BOOK IDEA.  Yeayyyyyy! Fun!

No, not yeay. Bad brain.  Work on second draft. Sigh. Must finish second draft.

Disorganized order – that is how I roll

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I am sure it has come to people’s notice by now that I am a procrastinator. I am also a bit scattered at times (okay okay, I can hear my friends going “at times?!”). However, this disorganized order works for me – it is how I roll, even in writing.

You have to be orderly when you write – there is a lot to be said for outlines and knowing your plot points. Your story has to follow a logical order. However, the beautiful chaotic mess that comes from not knowing, that is where the magic happens.

I have been doing a lot of structure, plot, and character exercises for lack of a better term. I have freestyled what-if scenarios for plots and characters, I have rambled through nonsensical train of thought writing exercises for plot development and seen where that has taken the story. I have written in first person from a secondary character’s point of view to see the story from another angle. I made a loopy mind map of plot themes.

None of it is organized. None of it has added to my word count, in fact most of it  is on a yellow legal pad, scratched out with my trusty fountain pen.

I did all of this with a deadline in mind, October 1, I would start draft 2 rewrite.

Except, here is the curious thing, all that rambling, disorganized, freestyle, train of thought mapping has organized my story! I know exactly what needs to be done, what needs to be tweaked, what needs to be redeveloped, what needs to be cut out. Order out of chaos.

I had this crazy idea when I was writing in first person. And I think that it is exactly what I need to do to make the story cohesive. It will be a lot of work, a lot of reorganizing and additional writing. But I think that it could be the thread that ties everything together. So I am going to go with it for the next few weeks.

October 1st is around the corner and I need to make sure that I have all my disorganized chaotic ramblings clustered properly so that it works.

Fingers crossed.

The taskmaster

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I am a procrastinator. There, I admit it.

I am awesome at ideas, terrible at execution. Particularly when those ideas are near and dear to my heart. The more I want something the more I tend to procrastinate. I have heard many theories throughout my life about why I do this: fear of failure, fear of success, hardheadedness (is that a word?), a need to go against the grain, blah blah blah.  Whatever it is, I will be the first to admit that it is a giant pain in the backside that tends to frustrate everyone that knows me at some point or another. Fastest way to get me to cringe: use the word “potential” –  I shudder as I type it.

This charming quirk of mine has left me in many a tedious rut throughout my life and often finds me, head in the clouds, daydreaming of the shiny land of what-if.

The shiny land of what ifs is fabulous at creating a stories, but dreadful at sitting down to edit for the second draft. And yeah, sure, I could give you many (many) excuses as to why I haven’t completed my second draft but the hard truth is I simply haven’t done it. Bad me.

But lately, as a result of my company being sold, the good ole’ what do I want to be when I grow up conversation that we all have with ourselves at some point when we realize that what we are currently doing is a deadend has been doing a manic cha-cha in my head. The cha-cha danced to the rhythm of “oh my god, I am not going to have a job, what am I going to do.”

And since I am a procrastinator and hate making plans I did nothing. Shrugged my shoulders and decided to see where the cards fell. I would deal with it all tomorrow, while biting my nails to the quick as the uncertainty of it all made me twitchy crazy. And let me tell you folks, this is not the most healthy of ways of dealing with uncertainty. It does however create a certain level of cavalier-ness that is borderline nihilistic. That self-destruct button has looked mighty good at times. Corporate rat race be damned – cue evil laughter.

And now, almost a year later, as I find myself on a weird limbo of an integration team I have come to realize that I actually pretty lucky. Weird limbo means i have time to explore. Time to figure things out. Time to WRITE THE DAMN SECOND DRAFT. All while I am still being paid a salary.

Realizing this, however, did not make me more productive. And the lack of productivity added to my stress. Sneaky should-a-could-a-wouldas decided to join the dance party. Joy.

But here is the curious thing, this morning I woke up and my first thought for some reason was “The hell with it, I am gonna finish my book” and so I wrote a quick list of writing goals that I want to accomplish by October 1. I took a picture of it and sent it to my friend S with a quick note for her to please ask me about these things along the way so that I could stay on task. And this is the point, folks, where I failed to remember that S is an accountant because she replied with a request for estimated/budget hours until completion so she would have an  ballpark idea of time to allocate towards the completion of task 1 so we could create a percentage of completion report (yeah, it all sounded like Greek to me as well).

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, (I laughed). And strangely enough I sat down and did what she told me to do. All of a sudden the giant how the hell am I going to complete this second draft dilemma that I have had for the last six months vanished. And I spent 4 hours organizing the backstory that I need in order to move forward. It seems all I needed was an accountant to break it down into feasible chunks which didn’t overwhelm me. She also bribed me with wine.

YOU’D THINK I COULD HAVE FIGURED THIS OUT ON MY OWN.

Oh well, I now have a plan. And a taskmaster.

Yes, this is me, shaking my head at the crazy things I do to get my book written.