What I’m Reading
I’m almost finished with the YA novel Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender. It’s a good one, a combination of teen angst, a paranormal mystery including a spirit possession, and an interesting study in family dynamics.
I haven’t decided what book to read next, but I have two checked out of the library so should probably see what they’re like first. Michele Malkin’s non-fiction book about the Obama administration, The Culture of Corruption, is one. The other is fiction: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick. I read a lot of political commentary from all points of view, but I’m a little drained by all the articles I’ve had to read as I prepare to vote in the Colorado primary, so I might read the novel first. It won a Hugo Award. It ought to be good.
The Reunion Bio
I finished the thing and sent it. Since I could not get my guy to write his own bio (mostly because he knew I’d cave and do it for him), I combined our stories and did it all on one page. I was never so happy to get a chore off my To Do List.
More Help on Smashwords and Kindle
Blogger friend Marian Allen has a Part 1 Publishing on Kindle and Smashwords at her blog today. This is information I need, so I was glad to see her discussing her own experience with the process.
Working on Revisions and Dealing with Backstory and Changes in Point of View
The novel I’m working on, Wishing Caswell Dead, was written with the main character (a young girl named Jo Mae Proud) in first person and other characters in third person. Each third person chapter includes a lot of backstory. Although I love my characters and definitely want their story told, I am not comfortable with the method I chose.
Changing the whole novel to Jo Mae’s point of view in third person seems the best of all the alternatives I considered. I tested a rewrite of the first two pages on my critique group this week, and the feedback I have so far tells me I’m on the right track.
But there are challenges. The backstory of the other characters may get lost if I can’t find a way to have the character talk directly to Jo Mae about their lives, or at least have Jo Mae overhear conversations. This technique will work with some characters, but not with others. I have a feeling I’m going to cut a lot of secondary character backstory while I’m adding more detail and depth to Jo Mae’s story.
Perhaps those stories I delete from this manuscript will be useful someday. I could create blog posts written by the characters, which would be great for a blog book tour.
This isn’t the first time I’ve rewritten this novel. The first draft was too full of flashbacks and because of the multiple point of view, events didn’t happen chronologically. To remedy that situation, I printed out the novel and spread it out across the floor, cutting and pasting to get the order right. Then I went back to the computer and “fixed” it.
The second and third rewrites were less drastic. I tried to make it feel more like a mystery by moving one of the ending chapters to the front, so the first chapter read more like a prologue. Now I’ve changed that back again so I can introduce Jo Mae in the first chapter and let her tell her story all the way through.
Do you have a manuscript you’ve been fiddling with for two or more years? How drastic have the changes been in your rewrites? Do you sometimes feel as though you’re writing the neverending story?