Friday, October 19, 2012

Rough Week and an Issue With Point of View

I've had a bit of a rough week.  My husband was on another business trip.  It seems like the fourth trip in five weeks.  On Tuesday morning at the dentist, I threw up all over my lap.  My teen is being a teen, and my preschooler is in incessant 'Why?' mode.  I'm kind of used up.  Right about the time my husband got home from his trip, I got a migraine that had me in bed for 24 hours.  This morning, just as I was about to write something much better than this, my internet connection died.  It was up and down all day and then completely down until now.  So I'm feeling a little frustrated. 

The best part of my week was this:  I didn't hear anything chewing or scratching in the walls.  Unfortunately, that means there may be dead creatures in my walls, creatures that could turn poltergeist at any moment and start rearranging furniture or making toys attack us.  Luckily, we don't own any clowns.

I was somehow able to type up edits to five chapters today - not final edits but definitely in that direction.  I also have the beginnings of final edits marked up for six more chapters.  I haven't typed them up and expect each of those chapters will take me a day to get through next week.  I also worked a little on the plans for my NaNo novel.

So far, my biggest issue with writing fiction has been controlling point of view.  I like writing in third person and getting in the heads of the characters as much as is needed.  Until now, I've allowed myself to  pop in and out of people's heads whenever I want.  I didn't notice how jarring it is to the reader to do that.  It get it now.

In this last novel I'm working on, I think I finally have POV under control in the final draft...except in one chapter where I need to be in the heads of two characters.  It's a dark comedy, and what's happening in the chapter is a little messed up and uncomfortable.  I want it to be a back and forth of unsaid thoughts.  I'm not at all sure how I'm going to pull it off technically.  I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually, but if any of you know of a story or novel where this is done well, please let me know. 

My apologies for not getting around much this week.  I have a college road trip planned for the weekend, so I doubt I'll get caught up reading your posts.  Have a great weekend.

27 comments:

  1. Hope you weekend and next week are better. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm impressed you got some writing done with that week. Hope next week goes better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't do anything (that I remember) Monday through Thursday. I'm glad I added it up - otherwise I would have thought I did nothing.

      Delete
  3. Tonja, I'm sorry!!! Hope next week is better. And you visited me, so I am good to go.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like the way Diana Gabaldon shows what her characters are thinking. I do mine the same way. Try checking out her Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade to see what I mean. Caution: this book deals with a touchy subject.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm also sorry that you've had such a bad week. Hopefully, you'll have fun on the road trip, and the creatures will be gone when you return. Maybe you'll find a way to include some of this in your story. Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ironically, there was a mouse in the house in my last one. Now I can update it with details about mouse poop. Awesome.

      Delete
  6. Bad weeks must be going around this week!
    For sure though, I'm glad your chewing, scratching sounds are gone, minus the poltergeist paranoia.

    Rest assured, it will pass and the sun will shine again. I'm hoping it's soon:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The sun is not shining here. Had a stomach issue overnight. May be delaying the road trip.

      Delete
  7. Is it bad to say I feel better about my week now. :P

    Sorry, I hope things are going better. Sounds like a miserable few days, but glad you're getting close on the edits. Can't think off the top of my head of a novel that goes back and forth in POV in the same chapter, but you may be able to do it by separating each character's viewpoint by short scenes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The characters are in the same scene. The other characters in the room are oblivious to what's going on. I think I'm going to need to do a back and forth kind of thing - just need to be careful about it I guess. It's deep enough into the story that maybe no one will care if I go rouge with POV.

      Delete
  8. I see POV violations all the time, even in some big time books, your right that it can be distracting, but I'm very forgiving if it's telling something interesting.

    Sorry about the rough week. Hang in there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the chapter will suck if I stick with one POV. It won't work.

      Delete
  9. Good-Luck with all your rewrites. I am sorry that things have been so tough on you and I am sure you will figure the point of view thing out in no time.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Tonja:

    No problem. I've been dealing with extreme fatigue this week and when that happens I don't get much done. Stuff happens.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

    ReplyDelete
  11. I know the 'Why?' mode can be annoying, but I find it adorable and a great opportunity to lay a foundation for so many issues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True. Half of the questions my little guy is asking requires a degree in engineering to answer.

      The other half are based on some nonsense from Spongebob that don't have an answer, mostly about the concept of the Main Drain in our world - a plug that can be pulled that sucks everything into it.

      Delete
  12. Tonja, I know how frustrating life can get while you're trying to write at the same time. The thing about POV is there are no real rules. Anything goes. Unfortunately you need to consider your reader. Having two protagonists doesn't give them one to relate to. It can be done, it will be challenging, but if it doesn't work, you alienate your reader. If you need to have two protagonists, you might be better off to use OMNI. That way, you have someone else telling the story and expressing how these two characters feel, think, and experience the story. If OMNI isn't your bag, then use actions to speak for your characters. There are a multitude of facial expression that clearly tell the reader what the other character thinks. If that doesn't fit with your story, do one scene from one character, use a blank line, then switch to the other. This can work well if it's a woman and man situation. I don't know anything about the story you're writing, so this is probably not very helpful.

    A critique partner would help. Or a writer's group where you can exchange chapters. Or write the scene several times, using a different tense or POV each time. Then take a day off and come back and read what you've written out loud. Your ear will automatically pick up any discrepancies.

    Meanwhile, I do sympathize with having a teenager. I raised 5 boys and it's a wonder I'm not completely loony tunes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is third person omniscient. But I was popping in and out of heads all over the place.

      Five kids is a lot. When people say one more doesn't really make a difference, they are wrong! My laundry pile is evidence of that.

      Delete
  13. I'm glad you're feeling better, Tonja. It sounds like you're getting a lot done. And at least you're aware of the POV issue. I have issues with that, too. My novel is in first person and my CP had to keep reminding me that my first person POV character can't know how someone else is feeling, lol! Sorry, I'm not much help:)

    ReplyDelete