Nothing Up My Sleeve
First person, third person, present tense, past tense, limited narrator, omniscient narrator, formal prose, chatty prose.
In only 55 pages, believe it or not, I’ve tried all of these techniques. And more too. I think there was one version written from the dog’s viewpoint, a la Garth Stein. (Not really. But maybe I should try it.)
So this book has morphed from five rotating, first-person narrators to two, third-person narrators telling their stories far from how I thought they would. And it feels like a better fit, so I’m going with it. I’m not even rewriting the beginning yet either. I simply inserted a few [SWITCHING POV HERE] notes into the prose, and moved on. If a scene isn’t happening for me, I insert [MORE TO COME], then work on one that’s more interesting.
It may seem like I’m creating a giant, winding jumble of words here with no real vision. Actually, though…well, yes. That’s what I’m creating. But working this way keeps me from getting bogged down to the point where I’m dreading the next writing session. And it makes me at least feel like I’m moving forward.
So what I can say about this writing challenge, so far, is that it’s forced me to get the words down, and that’s a good thing. But while I’d assumed (read: hoped) I’d be writing far beyond the 20-minute allotment each day, that rarely happens. I’m still having to remind myself to write, sometimes just before midnight. (And can I just say that a laptop might be in my future? Hauling myself out of a warm bed at 11:40 and stumbling down to the cold office where my ancient desktop PC resides makes me a wee bit cranky.)
So how’s it going for all of you? Are you making progress? What tricks do you trot out to haul yourself from the mud when you’re stuck?