The Difference A Night Makes

As always, critique night was very, very helpful.

I feel really confident about my latest short story and I have a goal now on when to finish the final revision and when to send it out. There is a short story market out there that will be opening its submission period starting August 1st and I will be submitting it that very day. Gives me about two weeks to lovingly coo and coax it before putting on its best hat and sending it out the door.

I also received my first ever novel critique for LAST WITCH from one of my fellow critters, Shawn, who was a sweetheart to read the thing and get back to me before he leaves town, and our critique circle, for Ottawa. (We will miss him skads but wish him the best and will of course keep in touch via the Intarwebs! So, he’s not really leaving, just won’t make it to any physical meetings. HEE!)

But mostly when it was my turn to talk I moped about BLOOD. Like, made piteous noises and groveled and whined. “I’m stuck,” and “I don’t know where to go next,” and “I’m not having fun like I was on WOLFKILLER.”

Julia laughed and said, “Oh, no, I remember you complaining about it and saying, ‘I need to write PROSE.'” (And she said in that deep, actorish way, very sonorous and melodramatic, which I don’t doubt was how I said it in the first place.) And to be fair, the moment I did start writing prose, that last story plopped out of no where and still makes me squee, just a little.

Now, I loved WOLFKILLER. I finally got into the story in a way I never had before, but I found the script format very limiting. I wanted to embellish, and couldn’t. Now I’m in BLOOD and it’s a proper novel and I can embellish all I want. And I try! But nothing felt right and I was obsessing about point of view and just generally driving myself into a bitter little fit over the whole thing.

So after critique night was over and I was left to my own devices with a very baby-step goal for the week (1,000 words), I decided to try my hand at it on the iPad. I started, and about three sentences in realized I had shifted from 3rd person limited to 1st person. I corrected it. Continued. Did it again. Called myself stupid and hit the backspace button repeatedly.

When it happened the third time I almost didn’t notice. But I did, and realized I was having fun again.

Suddenly the scene wasn’t root canal. Suddenly I was relaxed and in the scene and just rolling with it.

I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face for a half hour.

So, here I am with two 1st person POVs for the novel now, and I may put 3rd Limited or Remote for a few villain scenes here and there. I normally would have balked at this, but I have read enough books lately where this was dome and it seems to be acceptable so long as it works for the story.

I will make those 1,000 words this week. I’ll probably make more.

The shit-eating grin is just a bonus.

(Edited for grammar, spelling, and yada yada yada.)

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3 thoughts on “The Difference A Night Makes

  1. Awesome progress! Have you read The Time Traveler’s Wife? Audrey Niffengger juggles to first person point of views WHILE jumping around in time. She cheats and uses chapter headings that let us know who’s chapter it is, what year it is and the relative age of the chapters. At least you don’t have the time travel problem with your novel, but some things to consider for juggling multiple first person point of views.

    1. Steph

      Yeah, I’m thinking that the two main characters will just have their names listed as the title, though I’m generally pretty good about leading with the main character in the topic sentence to let you know where you are. I dunno. I figure that sort of structural tinkering can hold off until I have the bulk of the work done. Just knowing that I will write their scenes in 1st person has made me so ridiculously happy.

  2. piscesmuse

    George RR Martin kind of does that with his third. Name of the character as the Chapter head so we know what story line we are following.

    So nice to hear that my drama talents are not all waisted.

    I look forward to hearing your progress on your novel next thursday. I really really do want to read Blood of Wolves. The move your talk about it the more interesting it gets in my mind.

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