Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Al Rambles

I mentioned the other day that I had plots worked out for a couple of extra novels, one of which was a YA piece. I find it very odd to be thinking about writing YA, I've never wanted to write anything for young people before. Although I must say when my girls bought books I always queued up to have my turn reading them. Sometimes my imagination gets even more active than usual and this is one of the things that popped out.

I don't dare do more than a rough outline or I might get carried away from what I am currently writing.

On the subject of the WIP, I've taken a slightly different tack with writing this one.
Both the WIP and my first book are written from multiple points of view. The narrative is broken up so we get differing perspectives on many of the events in the plot.

With Veiled in Shadows I began at the start and wrote to the end. Generally, I switched perspective as I came to the section I was writing. So I mainly wrote from start to finish for most drafts, although I did leave sections when I got ‘stuck’.

With my WIP I am (mostly) writing one character's perspective at a time right through the whole stream of the book. Then I move back to the start for the next character. But it is all written in chunks that will be pasted together at the end.

I think this has a huge advantage in terms of keeping with the flow of each character.

But there is a downside. Because characters are not present in each scene writing the over arching narrative seems more disjointed. Also I will have to be extra careful about continuity when it comes to bringing it all back together.

What do you think - would you prefer to write from beginning to end, or would you prefer to explore characters one at a time?

Do you enjoy reading stories that are from multiple POV?

Finally two piccies from my archive. A snowy mountain road as a reminder it is winter down this way.And that relative of the platypus an echidna or spiny ant eater. These guys, like platypus, are egg-laying mammals.

15 comments:

Anne Gallagher said...

I definitely like writing beginning to end. I can't jump from PoV to POV. I tried it once and once I put the story together I had to use a lot of filler to get the scenes to gel.

I cannot believe it's winter down there again. It seems like it just was two weeks ago.

outlast blankets 350tc outlast queen down alternative blanket white said...

Great blog!!!
I really like your sharing and i appreciate your thing about young people and your books.

Old Kitty said...

Oh wow!! The platypus' relative is ADORABLE!! Awww look how spiny!!! Lovely!

I prefer stories with one overall POV. But if the writing and story is amazing then several povs are fine cos I don't see the stitches so to speak. Terry Pratchett does this amazingly well!

Take care
x

L.A Speedwing said...

Publish or Perish! Excellent title for a blog! It summarizes it all, does it! Well I wish all the possible success with your Veiled in Shadows! I will keep an eye on your post.

Linda G. said...

Cute platypus!

I'm a linear writer, for the most part. I sometimes write snippets of scenes from later in a book, but I never finish them until I'm there. That's just the way my mind works.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

i'm a linear writer. If i skip around, i'll never go back to the skipped parts and the book will never get finished

Kathleen Jones said...

I think you're doing the right thing Al - writing each character's story first. When Barbara Kingsolver wrote The Poisonwood Bible (5 povs) she wrote the story from each character's pov first and then sliced them all together into one linear narrative. I think that way you can inhabit each character's head and write in their voice without distractions.

Elizabeth Barry said...

I have to write start to finish, but I do write narrative and scattered descriptions to include later.

Theresa Milstein said...

I don't mind reading books with multiple POV. It depends how it's written like any other book. Too many, and I may not get to know any particular character very well.

I write in a linear fashion. Sometimes I'll write a scene in the future, if it's clear in my head and I'm worried I'll lose it. But then I go back to where I was and catch up to and go past that scene.

Michelle Teacress said...

What a neat little creature. What's it called, if not actually a platy?

I forgot it gets cold down your way when summer has finally arrived here. Enjoy those crisp winter days!

John Gray said...

I so envy your ability to write novels....
would love to hear how you structure your writing day al

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Your spiny anteater is an interesting fellow, too. (You guys have a LOT of neat critters!) On writing, I tend to be linear, but if you're taking a multiple POV approach, I can see how the way you're doing it might prove to be more effective. As for reading books with multiple POVs, some I've liked, and some I haven't. As long as it's readily apparent which POV is in effect, I'm okay with it. Some books make it too much of a puzzle trying to keep them straight.

Al said...

Hi Anne,
I seem to be able to use either approach. The advantage of completing one POV at a time is it easier to stay in voice.
Alas, it is cold again down this way. The official Oz ski season started last weekend. I agree it does seem like two weeks ago.

Hi Outlast?
Thank you!

Hi Jennifer,
I love echidnas. They are really cute and really smart, and absolutely harmless!
I enjoy yarns with a single POV. But somehow I seem to enjoy writing multiple POV even more.

Hi LA
Thank you. I felt it was a great title at the time and now my first is published it is sort of a case of keep publishing or perish.
Thanks again!


Hi Linda,
He/she certainly is cute!
I seem to be able to switch. Which is good because if I get block I can jump to writing something else in the same work!
Hi Sarah,
I used to worry about that, but I found it easy to go back. It is a bit more tricky to hold where you are in the narrative though.
Hi Kathleen ,
Thanks for your advice. I think it is easier to write in the one voice for a block.
I have noticed it was harder to keep continuity. But then I wonder if that can’t be a plot tool any way.

Hi Elizabeth,
So essentially you are thinking in chunks and just noting that down so you can come back later?

Hi Theresa,
Of course, the key to how readable any book is the writing.
For some reason I like multiple POV.
Linear writing seems to be more popular. But it is clear that peoples imaginations are ranging more widely. But I guess if you have any kind of outline you must already have thought ahead.


Hi Michelle,
He/she is an echidna, but they are often called ‘spiny anteaters’ or just ‘anteaters’.
Brrrr! I am scraping frost off the car so I can get to the station at the moment.

Hi John,
You have the gift of the gab in terms of writing yourself.
Imagination, practice and patience. Most of all patience is what you need for a novel.
I have said a bit, but probably a little before you started reading the blog. Mostly my writing gets fitted around the rest of my life.

Hi Susan,
They are interesting. We are blessed with a host of creatures (and flora) that is found nowhere else.
I wonder if you’d like mine :-)
Most people have. A few have been silent, perhaps they were being polite!

Susan Fields said...

I've written two books with multiple POVs and I wrote them both from start to finish, switching betweens POVs as needed. The one I just wrote had both characters together much of the time, and that one was easy to write this way. The earlier one had three characters in three different locations who only all came together at the end. That one was very difficult to piece together to make sure everything was happening in the right order.

Al said...

Hi Susan,
I have more characters than three and they are not often in the same place. It does take a bit of juggling to get them all back into the right sequence.