I Think I’m Getting Used To This “Change” Thing

I planned to finish my first draft today, but it’s not gonna happen.

*Woo-Hoo!*

*Confetti and balloons!*

*Unicorns and glitter!*

No. Not so much.

I ran into (yet another) major problem.  As I got closer to the climax and the twists got bigger, I kept falling asleep while writing!

Rather disturbing, no?

Of course, there were excuses: I wasn’t getting enough sleep, I just ate a big meal, I needed more caffeine, I wasn’t getting enough excercise…

And like the good little persistant writer, I kept on going. Grinding my way through my writing time (I had a self-imposed deadline, after all) until I felt like Wile E. Coyote.

I thought about it. And realized I was bored out of my freakin’ mind. Obviously, this isn’t a good situation for a writer.

I don’t want to start over. Again. I thought about it some more and finally figured it out. The problem was with point of view.

I’m writing what I consider to be an epic fantasy, which is traditionally written in multiple single POVs. I set things up that way in my WIP, switching POV with each chapter. But found I wasn’t as invested in the other POV characters or their situations the way I was with my main character.

My MC – her profession, her determination, her abilities, the fact that she hit a lot of points on my sweet spot map – she was why I was writing this story. Plus, I had no problem staying awake writing her scenes.

In keeping with Holly Lisle’s advice, I’ll continue on in my story with this single POV and change everything later in revision.

Oh, help me, Obi-wan.

It’s shaping up to be a massive revision.

What POV do you prefer to write in? Does it change from work to work, depending on the story? For those of you who have completed a first novel: What was writing your first draft like? What sort of things did you change as you discovered what worked for you?

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11 comments on “I Think I’m Getting Used To This “Change” Thing

  1. taureanw says:

    Good call. A lot of writers wouldn’t have been able to admit this & start over (Me included). In a story that has multiply POV’s you HAVE to be interested in all. I have stopped reading books where I don’t care about some of the POVs.

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    • ekcarmel says:

      Thanks for stopping by, taureanw.

      I want this novel to be the best it can be, so I’m committed to being honest with myself and doing what it takes. But I’m also relatively new at this, so I’m trying to figure out what works for me. Unfortunately that means stops and starts and u-turns.

      I’m with you when you say you stopped reading books with POVs you don’t like. I used to read everything, sometimes stuff I didn’t particularly like. But now, I don’t waste my time on stuff I don’t absolutely love after the first few pages.

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  2. *Wince*. So sorry about the revision but at least you have an idea of what needs to be done.

    I’m finding I like writing in first person a little more than I thought I would. I have one short story in that pov and will probably write more that way. It’s easier for me to get in the character’s head.

    I like the flexibility of 3rd pov though. Gotta be a way to marry the two. Maybe have a short scene or two from the 1st pov to get a feel for the character? Hmmn.

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    • ekcarmel says:

      Thanks, Angela.

      I love reading 1st person and the immediacy of being inside the character’s head. I’ve found it easy to write, but didn’t want to use it for my WIP because of its genre. Right now, I use it if I’m stuck with a character.

      Diana Gabaldon immediately comes to mind for using 1st and 3rd together. She used 1st for the MC, Claire, and 3rd for other characters in her latest book of the Outlander series but can’t remember if she used it before that. So it’s possible. Go for it!

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  3. scribbla says:

    Wow – is interesting. Thanks for sharing and possibly preventing me from doing the same thing. Best of luck with your rewrites!

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  4. Keep going! Keep going! It’s great that you took a step back, worked out what would work and kept moving forward. You can fix it in revision and I’m sure you’ll have a much better view of what the novel needs to be when you do start it.

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  5. Tammy says:

    I think it’s great that you’ve been able to discern the issue and you know how to tackle it. Plus, I know that somewhere in there, you’ll find fodder for the next story.

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  6. If I can get inside the head of the MC, I love writing first person in short stories or novelettes, but, I prefer writing 3rd person for novels. I find it easier to to merge different MCs scenes for the longer stories. Also easier to describe each MC from the other MCs pov scenes.

    The best is write what works for you, otherwise, you either struggle to complete the story, or fall asleep while writing. 🙂

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  7. ekcarmel says:

    @Tammy – Thanks!

    @Diane – it’s always interesting to hear how other writers approach this sort of thing. I agree with describing the MC from other characters’ pov. Unfortunately, since I switched to single 3rd, I’ll have to slip in my MC’s description some other way.

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