Thursday, June 28, 2007


Writing group today was very provocative. It came up that I might consider switching POV of one character to a very close third instead of first. The prospect is intriguing - I'm eager to try it out and see how it works for this particular character.

In a tangent from that idea, it occurred to me that one of the POV characters I'm having the most trouble with might be better w/o his own POV sections.

These ideas mean lots of work, but this is just the kind of thing I love doing when working on a novel. I get impatient b/c of the time issue and wanting to have finished mss ready to go, but finding the right way to tell the story is one of the best things about writing.

Now, I just need a solid month at Weymouth.


Addendum on Friday:

If not a solid month at Weymouth, an afternoon of solid thunderstorms and a gorgeous book written in close third by my side to read excerpts from now and then.

I've gotten through the first 30 pages doing the revisions as noted above and am now going back through to incorporate the other feedback from yesterday's group into the new pages. And having a tremendous amount of fun doing it.

The book by my side is FINN, by Jon Clinch. I will be diving in properly later this evening, but I can tell by the first page this one will be a favorite. My daughter is, in an unrelated but yet perfectly related coincidence, walking around with her nose quite literally stuck inside The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, reading about the son while her mom reads about the father.


Peggy Payne said...

The spot beside the tree below would be a good place for readers of Huckleberry.

billie said...

You're right - if there were a river flowing just behind the wood line, it would be too perfect!

But I suspect hiking through the woods from here one wouldn't go too far before hitting a river, since we're situated between two of them.

Peggy Payne said...

Curiously, I find traffic and nearby voices a better setting for writing than quiet woods. I live in the quiet woods and drive to Raleigh to write. I think I probably got that from starting my career in a newsrooms. Also, I like to feel I'm going to a place of business. Then I'm glad to get home to my garden.

billie said...

Well, I know what you mean. The first year I set out to write the first novel I could only write in a very crowded, noisy coffee house.

Oddly enough, the quiet of my therapy office was too "loud" - with all the client work floating around.

Ideally for me there is a mix. At a place like Weymouth, I like the quiet time punctuated with a walk down to the kitchen or a morning trip to the coffee shop or lunch/dinner out.

Here at home, the quiet times are early in the morning or late at night, and in between it can get kind of crazy. Although I've discovered the front porch is extremely quiet and in a way removed from the doings of the family.

I really liked the open door between rooms at Weymouth. I have said this before but I'll say it here: the first year I was working on the book in the building we shared, your Sister India energy was a wonderful creative force that came around the corner and down the hall. There's something about working in close proximity to other artists, I think. It's like the collective unconscious, but very focused. Lots of energy mixing and setting off creative sparks.

billie said...

Hit the button too quickly...

I wanted to add that the second year of the first novel writing, my office became the place where the story poured forth. At that point the client energy added to it, as did the writing group you led, and the writing group that ended up meeting in my office. It became a very magical place. My current office is just not like that. I love it for therapy work but once we moved out here the creative center shifted.

Anonymous said...

It's strange, but I think close third person POV allows more intimacy with the character. With first person POV, the thoughts of the character are being poured directly into your head whether you want more of them or not. There is little room for the reader's imagination. With close third, you get intimacy while still giving room for the reader to round out the character in his/her own image. I think the end result is that the readers feel closer to "their" character.

Great to see all of your progress. :)

billie said...

Hi, Jason. It's truer than I realized about close third being almost more intimate than first.

I have written in first for so long now it's just odd to write anything else, but already I can see the advantages, particularly in this book, with this one character.

There are constraints particular to each POV, and it's fascinating to switch and realize so immediately the things you can express and cannot, and how to get around the ones you can't.