I'm covered in flour - it would take too long to explain...

Thursday, 8 December 2011

In my point of view...

I have been working on my first novel, as ever trying to polish it to an extent so that it's genius shines forth - and have been debating the eternal question of Point of View.
I had written it in the first person perspective, as the book was very much in the head of the main character and I had always enjoyed the special insight into her world it gave me.
But as part of my writing process, I tend to write the scenes one doesn't see in the book, so that if they need to be referenced I know exactly what happened, even if my characters don't.
In this book, there is a killing at the climax, but until now it happened off stage as my main character did not do it - but I wrote the scene so that I was sure of what happened.
As ever, I did not want to write it from the POV of the character who committed the crime as I prefer looking at everything sideways so wrote it in the third person but from the view point of a side character. This had two functions, firstly this character, a young teenage girl with learning difficulties called Jodie, is understandably too frightened by what she sees to come forwards at first, though her account will eventually prove the the character acted in self defense, and continues with one of the themes of the book which is to look at what crime does to people around it, rather than as the main action it's self.
But when I came to read the scene back a few months later, I realized it was a damn good scene.
I really wanted to include it in my book, but couldn't see a way of introducing a third person scene in isolation without the tone jarring.
I have read up on the subject in some excellent blogs, and the general feeling is that third person perspective books are more readily published - and added to that I have also written the prequel to this book entirely in the third person - so If I take the huge step of converting the perspective of the whole book to third person, it also opened up the possibility of somehow merging the two stories.
I was also worried that loosing the first person voice would loose something of the interior world of my MC, but by keeping the camera as close to her as possible, I have found that I am still able to give the reader the insight into her inner world, but have the possibility of looking round more corners when I need too.
S0 - 32,000 words done, only another 50,000 to go....

‘Okay,’ he says, ‘we good to go?’

His car is perfection. It’s an S.U.V, with a huge set of silver bull bars, pink interior, vast tyres and headlamps, which if mounted on a building, might contravene air safety laws.

‘Wow!’ Elsa says, forgetting her shyness, ‘is that your car?’

‘It is today,’ he says proudly, clicks the key, and the huge battery of lights flash a welcome. Saskia wonders if he has stolen it on the way over, and if so, from whom for Goodness sake?

‘I borrow it from a friend,’ he says to her, ‘he’s out of town this weekend.’

‘Elsa will need a booster seat,’ she says.

‘Awh, Mom!’ Elsa exclaims furiously, ‘I’m not a baby!’

‘Ehh Rubbish,’ Danko says, ‘it’s got racing harness, is plenty safe.’ He opens the back door, and Elsa climbs up.

‘It’s got a TV in the back Mom, how cool is that, can I watch it?’

‘For DVD,’ Saskia can see a clutch of disks in the open glove compartment. Danko dives in and proudly brandishes one.

‘Only if it won’t make you sick.’ Saskia says.

‘Is this really your car?’ Elsa asks him as we pull out.

‘No, it belongs to a friend of mine who is away.’

‘What does he do?’

Five to ten, Saskia thinks to herself.

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