Monday, August 27, 2007

Voice Part 4

Well, it's the bank holiday and I'm now in the count down to Dubai. DH left yesterday and is now there dealing with the fact that the temporary accommodation is not dire but....... The sun is shinning here and my kids don't want to go to the beach???? They are beached out but I keep thinking it may rain tomorrow. So I have a moment - since they are on the 'puter upstairs - to think about writing again. Actually I haven't stopped thinking about writing to be honest. I am itching to get back to it which is good I think.

Back last week I posted two possible openings for A Cornish House and the comments were fascinating a varied - which is to be expected as we all like different things and approaches. I will discuss more of that another time. The wonderful Jan Jones left this comment :

" thoughts are that the opening of any new ms these days MUST be told from the point-of-view of the main character."

I sat there and thought how bl--dy true. There in lies my problem with ACH. I want Madde to be the main character and yet Serena wants this role for herself! typical teenager - why do we work with them???

So Jan's comment set me to thinking about the books I have read this summer. How did each of them capture me in??? Katie Fforde grabbed me with Dora's shock at the transformation of Mrs Edwards from typical country wife to hippy style divorcee in Going Dutch. It set up the whole story of lives transforming - Dora's and Jo's (Mrs. Edwards).

Kate Harrison's The Self-Preservation Society is told in first person. She opens with a prologue that instantly made me relate to Jo - the nightmares we all experience and then once we have felt our own fears we are more open to Jo's over heightened sense to fear. So also caught on page one.

Caroline Smailes' In Search Of Adam is another story told in first person. We are there with a six year old curled up to her mother's dead body. Your heart is your mouth and you are with Jude instantly.

In Therese Fowler's Souvenir in a prologue we see Meg about to do something that is wrong and she is well aware of it but we also know she is following her heart. It is this that takes through the rest of the story. Because of her thoughts on the first page we follow her through the story.

So Jan is so right. We have very little time to capture the reader and bring them along with our main character. So I need to establish whose story I want tell even if it's both as with Katie's book. More food for thought.......

Finally over on C.S. Harris's blog she talks about punching up your writing. It's all about making your writing more powerful. If you are in a revision phase then it would be a good time to read this and check your script out.


Leatherdykeuk said...

Thanks for the pointer on punch words. Very handy.

liz fenwick said...

I thought it was to reread manuscript again!!!

Lisa said...

With regard to alternating two POVs, I thought Iam McEwan did a textbook job in On Chesil Beach -- not that I'd expect anything less from him, but for an almost novella-length story where not a whole lot happens in the external action, I thought it was masterful. I let someone borrow it and I hope she gives it back soon because I think I need to read it again and commit the cardinal sin of highlighting all over it to see how he managed to raise stakes and put so much tension in a book where so much of the story is in each character's head.

Lisa said...

Ian -- sorry, Mr. McEwan

liz fenwick said...

Have to put that one on my tbr pile lisa. Thanks :-)