Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New Relationship

For someone who works as I do, which is with no literary plan whatsoever before I begin writing, starting a new piece of fiction is always an adventure. In fact, it's not unlike starting a new romantic relationship. The questions are the same: Where is this going? Will it be any good? How long might it last? Who is this person? Do I foresee a happy ending?

I have begun a new...something. There's already 4,500 words of it, so it's not a short story. Is it a novella or even a novel? I have a main character but she's only becoming known to me as I write. The setting is still sketchy, the plot barely begun, the ending unknown. The piece is currently in first person, but it occurred to me this morning that I might want a second POV character, which means either switching Carla to third person or braving the perils of multiple first. I don't know yet how it will go.

All this is exciting. Also unsettling. But I haven't worked on a novel for six months; all that time I've been doing short stories. Maybe this is a novel. Maybe this is serious. In fact, [cue music from OKLAHOMA], "It's al-most like faaalllling in love...."


Carmen Webster Buxton said...

Nancy--I hope you'll be very happy together.

And I vote for 3rd person. Multiple 1st person drives me nuts.

none said...

I like multiple first person when it's done well :). I confess I don't like it when the author resorts to differentiating the voices by putting their name at the top of each of their sections (Time Traveller's Wife) or putting all the words of one of the narrators in quotes (The Historian).

If the voices can be made different enough to enable the reader to know immediately whose part of the story is which, I say go for it!

Mr. JM said...

Perhaps you can have all of Carla's sections in first person, while the other POV character sections are told in third person; I've seen that done before.

Anyway, good luck with the new "relationship." However you decide to organize and structure it, I'm sure it will be good.