The Hero's POV…Are We Going There?

Tough call.

Pros include: getting insight into what he’s thinking and feeling as the story plays out. It’s a switch for readers, and I can use the time in his head to better explain why he does what he does. Reassure readers, or scare them a little, as the case may be. That’s cool. And, I like my heroes. I like being in their heads and I like writing their POVs.

Cons include: reassuring readers and giving them that insight lessens the tension, big-time. Unlike Liberating Lacey, where both Hunter and Lacey learn something about themselves, this story is really the heroine’s journey. The hero, Daniel, is a sexy guy acting as a highly combustible catalyst in Elaine’s life. He’s going to turn her world upside down, give it a good shake, then give her a soft place to land. So…does it serve the story in any way for the reader to know what he’s thinking? Or can what he’s thinking come out in conversation, in action, in what he does or doesn’t do?

In rereading a particularly troublesome scene in Daniel’s POV, two things are clear. One, I like the writing so it’s hard to kill my darling by moving the text to the Deleted file and two, I’m doing a ton of telling. Telling = yammering, in my work. Too much yammering and explaining, not enough showing via H/h interaction. I want the reader to feel Elaine’s anxiety when the world goes topsy-turvy. I want them to wonder what she’s going to do when presented with a situation she simply can’t manage with her usual substantial tool-kit. And I TRUST them to deduce what kind of man Daniel is without me telling them. It’s like the negative space in a picture. In this book (and in Megan Hart‘s Spice releases Dirty, Broken, Tempted and Stranger) we figure out what kind of person the hero is from what he says and does…we’re never in his head. Never.

Okay. Decision made. For now ;)!

Miscellany

1. I’ve added a new page, complete with excerpt, for Liberating Lacey. See the sidebar, under Bookshelf.

2. This is very inspiring for the creative among us who might be facing a bit of a challenge: Breaking Out of a Creative Rut

3. Interesting article from David Brooks at the NYT: Genius: The Modern View. Long story short, focused practice does make perfect.

4. Happy May Day!

Ultimate Frisbee and Hunter

This article from today’s New York Times discusses Ultimate Frisbee and how it’s taking off as a sport. That’s GREAT because the hero of Liberating Lacey, Hunter, plays UF and there’s a nice little scene of him playing in a match for charity. I especially liked this quote from Susan Batchelder:

“I love to run with purpose, meaning I hate the track, but I like to chase things,” Ms. Batchelder said. “I love the fact that when you’re playing, you make hundreds and thousands of little decisions — where the disc is, where your body is — but they happen without thinking.”

That pretty well sums up Hunter, the hero: running with a purpose (chasing criminals) and very, very present in his body.

Addendum + New Thoughts

More fun about writing…as I sat down to write today’s post I reread yesterday’s post and figured out what I was supposed to say at the end of the first paragraph, after “Lifeless. Twaddle.”

I was supposed to say that this is the difference between thinking about writing (plotting, doing character charts or GMC charts or any other kind of charts, plot boards, synopses, scene documents, etc etc etc) and actually writing. I’ve done all the due diligence on these folks, Daniel and Elaine, my H/h, my folks who are falling in love. I know what they look like, what they fear, what’s driving them, their goals. I know how the scenes need to look, as they bizarrely insist on playing out in my mind when I’m trying to fall asleep. I know what needs to happen. I know this intellectually, like I know the grass is green or E = MCsquared.

Writing it is totally different. Totally different. Writing it involves a completely separate section of your brain, the creative side that is, if you’re lucky, plugged into the muse or some universal force in the ether containing all the Stories. (If you’re not lucky you’re going to pull that story out of your ass via your toenails with rusty, dysfunctional tweezers.) Doing all that other stuff isn’t writing. It just isn’t. It’s thinking, planning, processing, judging, evaluating, and organizing. It’s not writing. So knowing what to do doesn’t count towards getting it done, just like thinking about cleaning the garage, planning all the cool ways to store your tools, how great the floor will look when it’s swept, isn’t actually cleaning the garage. You have to think before you act, but eventually you’ve got to act or the garage will never get clean.

That’s what I meant to say at the end of the first paragraph yesterday. The cool thing about writing is that I got to say it – just a day later.

Now I’ve forgotten today’s thought. Oh well. This one was good, too.

Rhythms

I’ve had weeks, even months, when words streamed like water from my fingertips. This is not one of those weeks. This is a week where I know what I need to do – revise two chapters and write the novella’s final scene – and I know what what needs to happen to execute that plan but when I sit down to do it, lifeless twaddle comes out. Lifeless. Twaddle.

There are a variety of reasons for this, none of them important. What’s important is that yesterday I sat down to work. Today I sat down to work. Tomorrow I will sit down to work. I don’t make the mistake of thinking my emotions about my work ARE my work.

I will also get chai lattes and reread some fabulous Anne Lamott and write in my journal. I will cook dinner and nurse my sick husband and put my son to bed. And maybe tonight but for sure tomorrow, I’ll sit down and work.

/end peptalk

Fabulous Friday Weather

85 degrees and streaming sunshine…plus the hub and kid are off to a baseball game tonight. My big dilemma?

To tattoo or not to tattoo…that is the question.

Way back when I was a writing tadpole I promised myself I’d get either a tattoo or a motorcycle when I sold my first book. First book sold, revised and coming out on May 13. Do I have a tattoo or a motorcycle? No. The streets of my town will be SO much safer if I’m behind the week, not on a bike. And…my husband hates tattoos. Hates them. He’s put his foot down about two things in our marriage…tattoos being one of them…otherwise, I’m pretty effectively pampered. Just not tattooed.

So, to tattoo or not to tattoo? Any thoughts?

PS – Meghan, I removed the comma between revised and and just for you! 😉

Insulation Installation

If you should happen to hire an energy expert to assess your house’s areas for improvement, and if said energy expert should happen to recommend adding more insulation to your attic, this is my recommendation:

1. Hire someone to do it.

2. Hire someone to clean your house after the installation has been installed.

3. Leave keys for the installers and the cleaners. Leave home for several days.

4. Return home to a clean, insulated house!

Otherwise, like me, you’ll spend your Wednesday night vacuuming and dusting after your husband, who is a sweaty, dusty, aching, grumpy mess, has installed approximately 30 inches of insulation in your attic. On the very, very, very big plus side, we spent about $300 for insulation, which is our total out-of-pocket cost for this project.

I’m off to dust.