Friday, September 5, 2014

POV Experiments

First off, a brief update!

Alas, I did not get picked for Pitch Wars **cue buckets of tears** but I DID receive some pretty sweet feedback. So… to the traditional querying wagon I go, Batman! I will also be participating in PitMad next Tuesday, and have all my pitches scheduled and ready to go on Tweet Deck. Hoorah! Basically I'll be tweeting (well, Tweet Deck will!) twice an hour all day with variations of my 140-character pitch. So beware, Twitter followers!

In writing news, I've decided to keep my fairy tale retelling/mashup for NaNoWriMo, so in the meantime I'm going to finish the novel I was working on last November (which I started way back in 2009). I already wrote over a thousand words on it today! Feels good. And it'll be interesting, too, as I'm not ENTIRELY sure how this thing is going to end…

Which leads me to today's ramblings about writing.

I like to try a little something different with each new book that I write, because 1) I get bored easily and 2) I like the challenge! Mostly, the "something different" has to do with POV.

Once upon a time in 2005, I finished my very first actually novel-length novel. I wrote it in close third person from a couple of different POVs.

Later that year I wrote a novel during NaNoWriMo, and chose first-person-past. It was my first heavy-fantasy-elements book, and I pulled a shocker POV change at the end to try something drastic.

My next novel I went back to close third with a couple more POV characters, and occasional sections of myths from an omniscient POV which gradually wound into the main storyline (if that sounds like the novel I'm currently querying, that's because IT IS! :-))

Next I tried out a dual first-person POV, partially in present tense, partially in past tense. It was a MONSTER of a novel and still remains an absolute mess, but it was super fun to write.

Next I went back into my myth-universe and returned to close third, with intermingled omniscient sections following an at-first-seemingly-random woman in an enchanted dream world.

Which I think brings me to 2009 and the novel I'm currently working on finishing. Back to close third again, but somehow I wound up with SEVEN viewpoint characters. Balancing all their arcs is a huge challenge, but it's really fun to be able to hop around to the different storylines.

After that I did a dual first-person POV in past tense—and one of the POV characters was blind. That was a SUPER interesting challenge, focusing on textures, sounds, etc. instead of sights.

So anyway. A little random look into my experiments with various POVs/tenses. I can't decide which one I like to write best—I think different things work for different stories, and I try to be true to the voice I hear in my head when I'm first brainstorming/outlining (I hear voices in my head, guys—run away!!).

I think my fairytale retelling/mashup novel will be first person, partially present tense, partially past. As a side-note, I generally dislike reading present tense, because often the writing sticks out to me and feels kind of awkward. There are some books I've read, however, that pull off present-tense so well I'm not even aware that it's happening. That takes some major writing chops, people! We'll see how I do. :-)

Happy weekend, and happy writing!


Virginia said...

I know what you mean about switching it up. All of my full length novels are slightly different in terms of POV and, as you say, I think that just makes sense because different stories need to be told different ways. My project for this year's NaNo is going to be first person, alternating POV (between to MCs), past tense. Last year's was alternating close third (alternating between 8 different POVs), also past tense. I have never tried writing more than a short story in present tense and I find I don't particularly enjoy writing it or reading it, but I have found exceptions to that. Good luck with this latest endeavor!

Bummer about pitch wars, by the way. I didn't wind up getting my act together in time, so I didn't even try. Good job submitting, and actually getting some feedback! And good luck with PitMad! Perseverance is key! Or so they tell me. :-)

Joanna Ruth Meyer said...

Glad I'm not the only POV switcher-upper! And I totally know what you mean about present tense—I'm generally not a huge fan of it either. Not 100% sure if I'll be using it in my next novel or not… We'll see.

And thanks for the encouragement! I'm really hoping this novel will be The One for me. :-)

Good luck with your NaNo novel! I can't wait till November!!