Duct Tape For Mouthy Characters

I have to be honest.  This is the post that I had intended to make yesterday, but I got totally side-tracked by something shiny an awards post.  So, now back to our regularly scheduled post in which I talk about my writing again. I heard that groan in the back. 🙂

Obviously, it was definitely a busy weekend, even after I finished writing The Nandora Tree. Yeah, I know, workaholic when it comes to my writing, but I had reason, and I am proud of getting it all done.  Yes, I finished my out loud edit of Possession and it is now (I think) reasonably ready for its first round of feedback from my test readers.

Suddenly, as a result, my very full drawer of manuscripts that need to sit for a while is relatively empty.  Oh, wait, I forgot to mention the other reason it’s emptier.  I also pulled The Nandora Tree back out (hey, it’s just a short, doesn’t need the same amount of time, I swear), and edited that, then sent it late last night to my test readers for feedback.

I did a round with The Way Out Is Through, but it’s not ready.  I’m still a little unsure how I feel about that one.  I like it, but I’m not sure that it’s something I’d publish.  It’s just too… out there, I guess, is the best term I can come up with without actually giving a synopsis of the story, something I hate doing when I don’t have to.  It ruins the reading experience, in my opinion.  So that one went back in the drawer.  Knowing me, I’ll pull it back out again in another day or two (me of almost zero patience) to give it another round before I head off.  We’ll see what I think then.  I’m not sure I’m ever going to know what I feel about this one, to be honest. I may force myself to send it for feedback, just to try to get a handle on this one, but not until I’ve given it another round of editing.

In the meantime, I’m turning my full attention over to Devan and Necromantic.  I have realized that I need to look at the start I’ve made on the outline and make some adjustments on both timeline and order of events.  The right pieces are mostly there, and I think I know how to tweak it so that it comes out smoother, more where I need it to be. Then I can push forward and see where my darling Necromancer wants to lead me, take this journey with him.  I know the ending (of the first book), and I’m getting some good thoughts down for the middle, but I need to firm it up and build it into a real outline.

I’m also faced with another conundrum at this point.  How to tell the story.  I know that it will only be Devan’s voice telling it, at least for the first book and likely for all three. But I’m not sure if I want to tell this as First Person (I) or very limited Third Person (He).  I should mention that I usually write limited Third.  The entire Mirrors trilogy is Third, as have been all of my short stories.  And I do mean ALL.  Including The Nandora Tree, formerly referred to as Devan’s Tale. But, and here’s where it becomes a conundrum, when the original image came to me, there was a little bit of story that came with it, just the very beginning, and I wrote it.  Why is that a problem? Because it was very definitely First Person, and I have trouble with the idea of writing it any other way, despite the short story being Third.  I suppose that my main concern is that I don’t have a lot of experience writing first person, and it’s not my natural inclination.  When I started the rewrite of Bound, I had intended to try that in first person, but then slipped into Third with the first words I wrote and was a dozen pages in at least before I even noticed what I was doing, the urge is that strong.  I suppose it’s probably still a little early to be worrying too much about this, but in some ways it does affect the outline.  Also, I keep thinking that if I spend enough time thinking of it as First Person, I’ll be okay when/if I go to write it that way.  I liked the feel of the little bit I did write, the way you could get a feel for who Devan is from it.  Yay, another thing to roll around in my head for the next month.  I really do think that I’ll be writing this first book by June, if I can make some headway on the outline.

In the meantime, and I’m sure you can all see this coming, Reah is trying to distract me for all she’s worth with a particular image of her, one that I know links in with the END of her first book (I know it’s more than one, but I’m not sure yet if it’s more than 2).  I need some mental duct tape for this one, I swear.  And I’m still a little intoxicated with the idea behind Masques, but that one isn’t defined enough to be a whole story.  Cayle’s playing hide and seek,  but I suppose that’s what I get for thinking up a society where most of the people wear masks all the time.  Curses, my imagination foils me again.

And, before I ramble any further this evening, I present you with another picture. From my recent walk about the neighbourhood while letting The Nandora Tree simmer:


About Julie

I'm a writer and photographer. I always have something with me to take notes for ideas or writing projects I'm thinking about or have on the go. I also like to go around with my camera and take pictures of anything that strikes me as beautiful or evocative. I'm perpetually working on one story or another, while waiting for enough distance to judge the last one (or more). I'm always working on several projects at once, developing the next book, even as I'm editing the last. Beyond that, there's always plenty of scraps and twists of ideas rolling around in my head, eventually turning themselves into full blown stories.
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11 Responses to Duct Tape For Mouthy Characters

  1. Katie says:

    Try for first person! It might be fun and you might figure out some things you can use it to tell the story that might not be available in third.

    • Julie says:

      I think I will, and making things better is what the editing process is for, right? Hell, if it doesn’t work out, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve thrown out a whole manuscript and started over again. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement.

  2. jmmcdowell says:

    I’d second the motion to give first person voice a try. Ha, easy for me to say! I always write in 3rd person with some degree of omniscience. Of course, my works always seem to have at least two POV characters, so first person wouldn’t work.

    If it doesn’t work, you can always switch to third. It would take some revising, of course, but it’s do-able.

    • Julie says:

      Yeah, I do have a tendency to go with what the story demands, and it’s not like I’ve ever been afraid to totally rewrite something. In that case, I tend to chalk up the first stab to an experience in getting to know my story and/or characters. It turned out for the best last time I gave in to what the story/characters want anyway (*ahem, Tavis*)

  3. Celtic Forest Dweller says:

    “I suppose that’s what I get for thinking up a society where most of the people wear masks all the time. Curses, my imagination foils me again.” You’re so FUNNY, Julie!! 😀

    Write it how you want to write it, say I. I prefer to read third-person, but first can be good IF done the right way. I’m a third-person person as well (what an awkward phrase!) but I may try some first-person for my sci-fi novel to give it a different feel from my fantasy. Not that that’s gonna be written anytime soon.

    Och, ye hit 100 followers! That’s right bonnie! Whit’re ye goin’ tae do tae celebrate, eh? (slipped into Scottish. Sorry… 😀 “Kidnapped” is very much on me mind.)

    • Julie says:

      Hey, what can I say, I’m an entertainer at heart I guess.

      As for the story, I’m willing to try it the way Devan wants. He’s been a sweetheart lately anyway, so he’s earned some trust.

      And thank you. The reason I didn’t mention the hundred followers is that these days, WP also includes your Facebook people in that total if you link the accounts, and for me, some people are on both lists, which means it isn’t really 100 in my mind. Now, when the number of pure WP followers hits 100, then I’ll tap dance. 🙂

  4. MythRider says:

    Congratulations on a relatively empty manuscript drawer.

  5. 4amWriter says:

    I prefer third-person myself, but I always err on the side of “giving it at least a go” to see why it spoke to you in first. There is a reason, and it doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be written in first. It could just be the clearest way to communicate, the narrator is the person speaking whereas in third you don’t have that connection. There might be some info there that is only accessible in first. Once you obtain it, you might want to switch back to third? Who knows!

    It’ll be interesting to see what you get out of it…!

    • Julie says:

      It’s always a fun trip, wherever it lands me. I’m all for giving almost anything a go at least once. You can’t know if it’ll work or if you’ll like it until you try it out.

      Of course, there’s always the chance that I’ll forget again and just do what comes naturally. I’ll laugh if I do that again. 🙂 I’m sure it will work out in it’s own way, whatever that ends up being.

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