A Different Point-of-View

No one, in person or online, has asked about the progress of my writing in a long time, probably because I made a few public threats and mentioned that conversations were starting to go like this every time I run into some people I know:

It’s funny, I never realized how a question as simple as, “How many pages do you have?” could make me want to roundhouse kick someone across the face.

But anyway, since I haven’t updated you on this area of my life in some time, I thought I should let you know the thoughts that are going through my head.

  1. The book that I quit my job to write is not the one I’m currently working on. It hasn’t been for a while. The story just seemed to stop for me. I am not done with it, but I think it’s resting for a while.
  2. I went back to that time travel fantasy piece that has been brewing in my head for 5 years. Have you ever written about time travel? I know some people throw fantasy in this pile of “make up whatever you want and write it down” (I used to), but me-oh-my, is it ever more work than that! First, because the sort of time travel I am dealing with in my novel is not anything I have ever dealt with before, nor have I seen it executed in this manner, I feel like I’m walking across a frozen pond. Without giving too much away, the manner in which the people in my novel travel through time is unconventional (yes, this sounds weird) and I’m actually having to think this through and plot it out very carefully.
  3. My protagonist was a [middle-aged] (actual age removed so it doesn’t bring up too many questions ;) ) man (still is?), but I think my point-of-view may be shifting — to that of his 15-year-old daughter. I did not see this coming, but it makes a lot of sense. Deciding who this is marketed to is a big part of choosing the direction the story will take, and I feel like there may be more universal appeal if it’s from the POV of a teenage girl than from an older man. (Maybe I’ll include both?) That, and because it was her voice and her story that was continuing to fight its way out. When I was plotting out the backstory, I kept coming back to her and what she would be experiencing and how that was most likely the more interesting story.
  4. I am toying with the idea of turning a person who is very good into someone very bad toward the end of the first novel…or somewhere in the middle of the second. Yes, I have this plotted out into a trilogy. But I keep coming back to how I felt [SPOILER ALERT if you haven't read ALL of The Hunger Gameswith all the things that happened to Peeta. I was very conflicted while reading that and I know how difficult and dangerous it is to take a character who is mostly good and do something very harsh to them. It can be hard to maintain your readers’ trust.

That’s where I’m at right now. I am still really interested in writing a verse novel, and though I know I’ll return to the one I was working on before, part of me wonders if this piece can go that way or if it would be better served with a more traditional style.

Have you ever completely shifted the point-of-view in something that you’re writing? How did it pan out for you?

P.S., Someone please send a white board, Sheldon Cooper, and some serious caffeine so we can figure out this time travel thing.

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8 Responses to A Different Point-of-View

  1. misti says:

    I have been wondering about your book but I kind of know how you feel. Except I can’t make myself write at the moment, it is like pulling teeth. I’m completely bored by my book but at the same time want to read it sobad that I feel paralyzed. So, I procrastinate and do other things instead.

    Writing is much harder than any creative endeavor I have done.

  2. misti says:

    *write* it not read it. ;)

  3. YES! Well, kind of. I thought I had my genre nailed, but now my second WIP is a completely different POV/voice/style/genre. I was just talking with a friend about how our characters seem to have a mind of their own sometimes and take us in wild and crazy directions!

  4. Melessa says:

    What you just described sounds a lot like the real writing process. I am back to the original idea I had when I was 24 and actually making steady progress now. But in the last 16 years it went through many different versions and once changed plots completely (until I realized I don’t know enough about the life of a broadway star to write from one’s POV). So I promise that I won’t ask you about your progress as long as you don’t ask me. ;)

  5. Colleen says:

    I’m really, really excited to read your final product. It sounds very intriguing. I’ve shifted trains of thoughts or POVs before; I think of it as the first direction was you getting the idea out while the shift in gears is the story taking the direction that it wants to take. :)

  6. Urban Wife says:

    Haha, I’m glad I didn’t ask. ;) But thank you for sharing these thoughts on where you are at in the process. Good luck and I can send some caffeine (local coffee from Austin!) if you’d like.

  7. Kristen says:

    I’ve been waiting for an update. :) This sounds so cool. I cannot, cannot wait to read!

  8. Elizabeth, I’m relieved to have avoided a roundhouse kick across the face. :) Glad you posted your update, though — it’s nice to know someone else switches horses mid-novel, too. Lately I’ve been yearning to write a short story, if only to see a finished product!

    As for changing POV, sometimes a particular character “says it better” or the plot sounds more intriguing after considering another perspective, so I’ll rewrite. But, I seldom think of the potential audience. (Maybe I should?) It gives me the same antsy feeling as “how many pages…”

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