Last week was a wash, and I’m not talking about the rain. Three weekdays off work, and I spent more time watching “Veronica Mars” than working on my book. It wasn’t for lack of effort – I stared, I tried out paragraphs, I edited, I researched, I reread portions – but the words weren’t flowing.
I’m torn between espousing the merits of the wonderful “Veronica Mars” and complaining about my struggles. I think, ultimately, it’s better for me to figure out why I’m having trouble, so I’ll save Veronica for another day.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was adding another point of view to my work-in-progress. I had been telling everything through a narrator who could only see through one character’s perspective. Eight chapters later, I realized that the story would improve by getting the perspective from another important character. It wouldn’t be too difficult, I thought, to insert chapters from this other point of view.
I’ve written two and am halfway through a third. But I’m struggling with the voice; it’s still third person, but now it goes inside the head of a teenager. The forty-year-old woman was easy compared with this fifteen year old.
I’ve said, mostly joking, that I hate teenagers. They’re loud, impulsive, and squirrely. They made me uncomfortable even when I was one. I don’t understand them—and I need to in order to write from the perspective of one. I don’t want to simply write a character who’s “wise beyond her years.” Obviously I’m generalizing here, and part of my solution will be to create someone who has her own traits, her own interests. Maybe I need to take time to write a character sketch, to write her diary entries. Maybe I need to know her better before plopping her in my fictional world. I think I’ve avoided doing that because I know the plot.
There ya go. That’s what I’ll do. I doubt I’ll reach my 40,000 word goal by the end of May, but I’ll try for 50,000 by the end of June. That will give me a little more breathing room.