NaNoWriMo Day 10: The Perspective Tune-up04:10
William Tiernan's blog coverage of NaNoWriMo continues! If you're new to the series, catch up on his novel writing marathon so far.
I considered switching topics. Then by some small twist of NaNoWriMo fate I read Brian’s post about point of view. And it hit me: my NaNo’s plot was fine; what had crippled it was perspective. The story focuses on a girl and a boy who play equally important roles. So I chose to write in the 3rd person, hoping to give each kid the proper attention. Bad move. No matter how hard I tried last week, I couldn’t get inside their heads. They felt aloof. Stagnant. Boring. If they were boring to me, I thought, imagine how a reader would feel?
I decided to let my NaNo go for a 1st person test drive. 1st person is a comfortable voice for me, and it seems to be a good narrative match for young readers: personal, edgy, non-preachy. I just wasn’t sure which character to put behind the wheel, the boy or the girl? So I compromised on both. Kathryn Stockett wrote The Help from multiple 1st person perspectives and look how that worked out! Why not me and my NaNo?
I got started on Saturday. I actually settled on three narrators: the boy, the girl, and a retired lawyer who will represent each of them during the story. And the words flowed. I enjoyed popping in and out of each character’s head. It kept the writing process – and hopefully the writing – fresh. I felt energized. I’d always wanted to try a novel from multiple perspectives; the NaNo was offering the chance.
By last night I’d finished 6,000 words of Take 2. Way behind in the word count, but I’m actually excited about the process again. The most celebrated are the rehabilitated, right? My NaNo’s out of the shop after a much needed tune-up. $29.99 for a perspective change and new spark plugs. I know the next break down may be just around the corner. But for now I’m enjoying the ride.
How’s everyone else doing? Did you encounter any major or minor road blocks during Week 1? If so, how'd you overcome them? And what are your goals for Week 2?