Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lazy River

I started the month of April with the intention of doing another writing marathon. I thought I'd set a goal of thirty thousand new words on my manuscript. I've done 40K two times -- 30K should have been a piece of cake, right?

So, here it is April 21, and I'm up to about 10K new words on my story. But I'm not crying. In fact, I'm pretty excited about those words and how they're flowing, even if they're flowing rather slowly. Sometimes, I think, a lazy river runs the deepest.

This story is kind of a different genre for me. It's still all about relationships and families, but I threw a historical element in there for the heck of it (well, and because it's the story that's been gnawing at me for about three years!). I never dreamed how much that would slow me down, though I'm not complaining. I've had many stops and starts, fine tuning the settings and time periods and voices.

I'm telling the story from the first-person voices of two women, one modern day and one in the past. I've given myself additional challenges beyond that by making these women extremely different from me – in age for one, in race and life circumstances for the other. Stories I've written in the past had point-of-view characters who were different from me, but they were all third-person, present day, so it was almost as though I were transcribing a movie I watched in my head. I didn't have to be quite as concerned with how these characters thought or worded things unless I was writing dialogue.

This time around, from first-person, it is both easier and more difficult to find my characters' voices. Each is quite distinct, and yet, when I get into the narrative, I still have to think carefully about how they'd view the scenes before them and how they'd tell them, being careful to keep them true.

I'm really enjoying telling this story from first person, though, and I believe it's both stretching me and making use of some writing abilities I don't usually get to show off in third person.

So, I think I'll be pleased to make it to twenty thousand new words by the end of the month, but you know what? I might only make it to 15K. Or I might make it to thirty. And I'll be happy I'm floating in this new river, wherever it takes me.

Photo credit:
Al HikesAZ's Flickr photostream, by creative commons license

1 comment:

  1. I'm already hooked. Can't wait to see where this new river takes you and your readers.


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