Monday, June 25, 2007


Ohmagod, it's a craft post. (G)

All right, you writers, help me out here. I've been struggling with this for a while, and I'm going to lay it all out. If I know me, by the time I finish writing it all down I'll have decided on a course of action, because that's how my little brain works, but I really want to know what you - YOU! -have to say about this.

I write paranormal historicals. The WIP I'm on right now, THE WITCH OF BADENOCH, is in first person, which I've chosen because I like the intimacy of being right inside my MC's head. However, when I made the change to first person I lost some other points of view - that of my Scottish-warrior-hunka-sexy-bod and my super-bitchy-sex-addict-witch antagonist. I really do feel that their perspectives add to the story, but I'm nervous about combining POVs.

One-two chapters in first person, then a few in third? Nnnn, there's something about that notion that puts me off a little. Would that annoy you, even supposing it was well done?

I've read enough, written enough and thought enough to know that indeed, there are no rules. You can do whatever you want - as long as you do it well. So, why the hesitation? Well, how about I tell ya?

One - crisis of confidence. This book is six years in vitro. When I started the latest re-write I vowed to Keep It Simple. A straight-forward novel, I said, that's what I need to write. Let's see if we can't finish something without getting all tangled up in our panties. Well, it's not turning out that way so far. (sigh) The question of whether or not I can pull it off will have to wait until I've tried.

Two - marketability. (Yes, I do know better. But.) Here I am, a new writer with my first MS. Will it be harder to sell this than a single-pov story, or even one in third? I know there are other books out there that use this method, but still, I can see it being an issue. I write to write, but I don't want to set myself up for failure. Still, the question of whether I can pull it off or not will have to wait until I've tried.

Pattern forming, here.

Ms. Vicki has what she calls the kitchen sink method. Throw it in there, she says, you can sort it out later. This is somewhat contrary to the KISS, method, methinks!

Many, many others remind me that it's MY book. It can't - and won't ever - exist without the force and input of my own creativity. That's partly because it needs the blood of my imagination to grow from embryo to infant, and why would I censor that? Wouldn't it be better to fill these pages with as much of the best me as I can?

Of course, it's also partly because I just won't write the damn thing if I'm not having fun.

Well, hell. It IS my book. And it's MY precious free time that goes into it. If I want to write it this way, I guess I can give myself permission to do that. No, scratch that.

I hereby ORDER me to do it my way!


Unknown said...

Darn tootin! :o)

Gaiman's Stardust has multiple POVs, BTW.

Anywho, my opinion: Write it any way you want. Put the most time/pages/effort into the main character, though. She's who you want readers to connect with. But use the other POVs to highlight themes, fill out the plot, deepen the character growth, tighten the suspense, etc. Give these scenes a strong purpose. Strong enough that if you were to pull them out, their absence would be noticed.

Don't worry about readers, marketing or anything else. Just focus on the story. And sending more of it to me. (Was that subtle or what? :o)

Renée (R.E.) Chambliss said...

Hi Cindy!

My advice is not to worry about the mulitiple POV question right now. Just try it and see how it works. I was reading an interview of Audrey Niffenegger about The Time Traveler's Wife. Have you read it? Great book! Anyway, she apparently wrote it in an order that was completely different from the one in the final printed version. But she didn't know her original manuscript was confusing until one of her beta readers told her so. My point is you can't know right now exactly what the final form of your novel will be. But that's okay. Go with what makes sense now, and when the time comes, you can change things if necessary.

Good luck! I'm SO familiar with all the second guessing that goes on when one is in the middle of a manuscript. Try to push through the doubts and keep moving forward! :o)


Cindy said...

Hi Sara!

I will. It's Saturday again, should be able to get some words in today.

Thanks again for readingfor me. It makes SUCH a difference!

Cindy said...


Renee, how the hell are ya??

Thanks for popping by, and for the encouragement. I tend to get in my own way a lot.

How are the revisions going?

Jennifer Hendren said...

Hi Cindy,

I'm jumpin' around looking at all the "tag, you're it" answers. (g) I stumbled upon this craft post -- sorry for the late input.

Anyway, I think you should just write it the way you want. POV isn't the _biggest_ deal, because it's easy to switch (er, relatively speaking). Plus, doesn't Diana do that? Gah, it's been so long since I've read one of her books -- but she writes Claire from 1st and others in 3rd, doesn't she?

I figure whatever works best for each particular book is what you should do. I write in first all the time -- and have just recently delved into a 3rd person, male POV. In that book, I plan jumping back and forth between the first person female MC...and the third person male MC. It's just the way it's turning out...for now. :)

Anywho -- I hope you find some time to write. Your book sounds very interesting. :)