Friday, March 7, 2014

Multiple Perspectives

It's crazy to think I haven't posted since January.  I used to post every day, not every day, but most days.  And immediately after posting, I would write.  I used this space (actually my last blog space) as a warm-up to fiction writing. 

I definitely haven't been writing as much fiction lately, but the writing I've been doing has been better - that's probably not the right word for it exactly.  Maybe more difficult is the phrase for it.  I'm writing historical fiction, but I've kind of gotten over the shock of how difficult that is - and I'm at the point where I've done enough research (and drafts of the novel) that I feel like know the characters and the place, even down to what it smells like. 

The tricky thing has been how to tell the story - and I've tried different ways.  After getting some advice from my brilliant daughter (who would make a fabulous editor some day if she didn't hate the idea of it so much), I ended up going with first person point of view from multiple perspectives and giving each of the three narrators a few chapters each at the beginning of the novel - mostly so the reader can get to know the character before the perspective changes. 

You might be thinking that's not that tricky - plenty of writers have done that.  My challenge is to keep the characters from bumping into each other (it's a very small town) and to interlace their stories so there are no inconsistencies - except for the thing where they have somewhat different versions of what happened and why. I bought a sketchbook and literally drew out the opening scenes, which helped a lot. I would post them here, but the only people I know how to draw are the stick-variety.

I really like a challenge and am enjoying the process. There's a scene where it rains (more happens than that, but I won't give that away quite yet).  Each of the three narrators are there.  And each tells what happens completely differently, but in a way I hope is layered with meaning.  Super fun, huh?

I've been in a bit of a writing funk over the last year.  I'm really happy I'm in a good spot right now and am at a place where I feel confident I can perfect the first part of the novel by the end of April, which is huge. 

If anyone is reading this, thanks for hanging in there with me.  I will try to pop in once in a while before May, but that may be the best I can do. I'm taking some classes on top of writing, and there's only so much time. Blogging was the thing that had to give.  I'm sure you all understand.


  1. Hey Tonja!
    A small town where the three main characters don't meet? That is challenging all right. Showing a scene from three different perspectives would be fun though. Like a car wreck - no one sees the same thing.
    Keep working on it!

  2. They meet, just not until chapter 3. But in the timing of chapter two, one of the characters is close - he just doesn't see her quite yet. If he did, it would mess up the story. She has to be there because of her part of the story, which is told in chapter 5.

  3. Oh boy, you sound busy! Go for it! I wish you well on your adventure (s), and hope you meet your goal. Came over from IWSG...

  4. Dude, I totally understand. Things have had to "give" in my life as well, among them my "online-ing" (almost all social media, except for tumblr, which is easy, 'cause all I really have to do is look at stuff and "reblog it" if I like it). Been thinking about you, and other bloggers, and grieving over my inability to stay connected. So yeah, I know the feeling.

    Dig the idea of sketching out a scene as an aid to writing! I'm in a writing funk, too. Sighs. We move on, eventually. I hope. :-)

  5. Yeah I totally get it. My blogging's giving more and more at the moment.

    Good luck with your writing, and I hope those classes go well. :-)