Saturday, 26 March 2016

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. —Harper Lee

Stop the presses! Not that they've actually started, but it's a line I've always wanted to say and have never had the context to use it. Well, now I do. Sorta. I am slamming the breaks on querying Cutting to the Chase for a few weeks.

One of my author friends suggested I write it in the first person point of view (POV). Now, to be honest, she encouraged me to do this quite some time ago. I resisted. I've never written in first person and was overwhelmed at the prospect of a full rewrite in a POV that did not come naturally to me. The story is told in close third POV, so it's almost the same thing. Right? (Insert irritating disqualifying buzzer here.) Wrong.

Her suggestion niggled at me as I continued to read a plethora of young adult novels—all of which are written in the first person. And, I have found myself drawn in, immersed. Unbeknownst to my conscious mind (Because, had I recognized I was doing this, would I have begun to query at all?), I started absorbing how to do it. And, shortly after hitting send on a few queries, I sat down and played with chapter one.

I learned two things immediately. First, I can write in first person. Second, and more importantly, it's worth the extra work. I am really getting into Lizzy's headspace. Scenes that were previously fine are now more than that. They are stronger. They pop.

I love writing so many different kinds of stories but, right now, young adult hums for me. It feels familiar, comfortable, like coming home. It taps into years of work in education and, in a way, helps me remain connected with youth, something I miss now that I have left the field. As for the work that is currently going into switching POV? It is part of the thrill of writing—you never stop learning.
 

3 comments:

  1. I <3 first POV! But you know that. ;-) It's worth the effort. I had to shift badly written close-ish third to first and found it a breath of fresh air. I don't think I'll ever write close third again. But...I will if I *have* to. ;-)

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  2. So nice to have someone who understands my misery...er...joy in revising. :-) It actually is a very interesting process. Throw in present tense and my learning curve is steep right now.

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    1. I can't write present at all! Even doing the synopsis in present was a challenge. Good luck!

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