Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Glorious April

We are having absolutely gorgeous weather! All the azaleas and dogwoods are blooming and the hummingbirds are starting to return. Which reminds me that I need to get a few more feeders.

Good News (If Any)

My historical short story, Outrageous Behavior, has been released and is doing much better than I anticipated. And in fact, The Wild Rose Press has a big sale on short stories this month, so it's only 99 cents! A spectacular bargain and a great way to see if you like an author enough to buy longer and more expensive pieces. Outrageous Behavior has been in my publisher's Top Ten Bestsellers list all week (the list is dynamic, based upon sales) and even hit the number #1 slot earlier in the week. So I'm pretty jazzed about it. Besides, I really like the story. If you've ever struggled to be kind and polite while watching those who are bigger, badder and bolder walk off with the prize, then this story is for you.

When etiquette fails, Outrageous Behavior prevails!

What I'm Reading Now

In The Woods by Tana French. I'm only about 150 pages into this mystery set in Ireland, but I'm really enjoying this book. For some reason, the British writing style appeals to me strongly. Maybe it is the wry, understated wording and the vivid descriptions that really bring you into the story and into the characters' heads—but whatever it is, this is an excellent example. The prose is smooth and the characters very likeable, and yet not perfect. The mystery is sad and compelling. I, for one, hope the rest of the book lives up to the beginning. We shall see.

What I'm Writing Now

I'm editing a paranormal manuscript, based upon a rejection/revision letter I got from my publisher. I'm pretty excited about it because revision letters are good and almost always help you produce a better manuscript. And the cool thing—I've already finished a rough draft of another paranormal that features one of the characters from this first one. So if I can work through the revisions (and not mess it up too badly) and see the first one, I can whip out the second one pretty quickly—at least quickly for me. Since I take about two years to produce a decent manuscript, this may cut me down to one year between books in this line, which would be sweet.

And I still have a contemporary mystery that I want to fix up for submission to an agent.

What—If Any—Thoughts I have

Don't write in first person unless you mean it. J That's part of what happened to that paranormal manuscript. I wrote it in first person. I still sort of like that version best, but in the paranormal romance genre, they really prefer 3rd person. So I rewrote it in 3rd and I've got to tell you, that was a nightmare. I will never do that again.

Personally, I love first person. And I don't especially want to head hop or know what is going on in the minds of the other characters. If the narrator is doing his/her job, then she's interpreting what the other characters are thinking. Whether that character's interpretations are right or wrong—well, that's the story, isn't it? It shows something about the POV character's astuteness and ability to understand others. Sometimes it reveals a fatal flaw in that character, because of her (or his) inability to interpret the actions and emotions of others at all. And I'm really, really good with that. In fact, I don't really like head hopping or jumping around from one character's viewpoint to another if I'm supposed to be identifying strong with both. It pretty well keeps me from settling down deeply into any one character. Which probably explains why I like first person so well, and why I read so many books told in 1st person.

Of course, I also like books told by an omniscient narrator and such books may include POV shifts to inanimate objects or animals. But hey, those things don't have deep thoughts to sink into, so I'm good with that. And it's usually done for humorous effect, anyway. Strangely enough, it also seems to be an almost exclusively British thing, too. I read a brilliant book where even the wind had a personality and POV, ever so briefly. Somehow, the British seem to have more fun with their writing, although I've found a few American authors who are also willing to have a little fun, too.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Not to mention, I'm supposed to be cooking dinner.

Have a great weekend!

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