Monday, June 16, 2014

on p.o.v.

Playing is fun. 

I've been playing with the characters I have missed since finishing the novel that introduced them to me.

And itching to start a second novel and continue on with them because I miss them.

I mean, technically, the book may never be contracted so the first book may not exist to anyone but me and the few people who have read it; but that doesn't mean I don't want to continue their story because I... I want to find out what happens to them.

danny castellano gif for no reason but that he's wearing glasses
I kind of know. When I presented my agent with my proposal I outlined the bare bones of books two and three: but that is just plot. That is just setting. That's like ice cream without the option of sprinkles.

So I am playing. My first book just naturally fell into two p.o.v's: One first person (my darling Jem, my Watson as it were) and third person (which worked to extend the scope of action with my lovely muckraker Ray).

In the second and third novels planned I need to expand the scope a little more. Half of book two takes place in Chicago and half of book three takes place with Merinda ( my lady detective ) at the barracks in Halifax.  I need my Merinda to have some action outside of Jem's sphere and with a completely new character I am introducing ( yes, he's a mountie. Yes, his name is Benedict ---though he goes by Benny) and I need Ray to be removed from both my lady detectives in Chicago until they can hop State-side and catch up with him.

I am playing with voice: I am trying to see if I can add a third person p.o.v for Merinda while maintaining Jem's first person and Ray's third. It's interesting. Often times I think, especially 'cause the pieces fell so easily in book one, can I get away with this? and of course I can-- I remind myself--because they are my characters and it is my book.

Authors do this multiple p.o.v thing all the time. The typical CBA way to do things is usually third person deep: rotating between hero and heroine.  Cathy Gohlke's Saving Amelie and Siri Mitchell's Love's Pursuit are two expert examples of multiple p.o.v.s being done very well....and very surprisingly. I think they are striking because they just seem so natural.  Jem and Ray's voices are natural for me to write in and they will be our guides in subsequent books; but now I am infusing some Merinda. Seeing where she takes me.  Again, plot wise and character wise, I have a solid inkling: but I am learning it doesn't have to be perfect or scrawled in stone. I am playing with her: in letters ( the epistolary thing can definitely give breadth and scope to extended plot lines and settings), in reports ( thank goodness I came up with a journalistic underscore to the whole thing. It's very useful) , in first (she's a little brash. I must admit.  She's very hard in first and I think a little too grating---like if Nero Wolfe were given the helm and Archie slinked off to the side) so over the weekend I played with her in third. Scenes and sequences that may never make it into a finished product but that are the equivalent of stretching or warming up. 

Exposition, yes; but experimentation? also, yes! one of the most liberating parts of the whole writing thing.

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