Every month or two my brain gets hijacked by Lorelei McIllhenney. She’s the series heroine I’ve got on the backburner until such time as I feel I’m ready to write a series that follows the same character through several books. This is very much NOT what I typically do. I write series, yes, but I write them where each book has its own couple and their romance is resolved.
Lorelei is having none of that. You see she’s a hereditary kitchen witch (but doesn’t know it) who lives in the buckle of the Bible belt in Mississippi. When her grandmother dies suddenly (in the first book), she finds out that she’s inherited a lot more than Gram’s house. Suddenly she’s dealing with all sorts of paranormal people and creatures she never knew existed–and now that Gram is gone, they all expect HER to help. It’s a struggle, one that gets even harder when her jerk-off boss fires her because “the freak parade” keeps interrupting things at the office (no no, this is a different crappy boss from my past). Throw in her Great Dane familiar (she’s allergic to cats), helping her BFF out of a wedding crisis when the caterer quits, trying to keep her secret and ignore the feelings engendered by her sexy lawyer neighbor who has a soft spot for ugly dogs (his is actually a hellhound), and adding in the fact that she doesn’t think Gram died of natural causes, and she just can’t be contained in one book.
I’m excited about the series. It’s been kicking around in my brain for a couple of years now. Everyone I mention it to loves the concept. But I’m just not there yet in terms of ready to write it. As I said, every month or two Lorelei hijacks my brain and starts talking to me, revealing a little bit more each time, but not yet locking down and saying “Write me, damn it!” God help me when she does.
It’s the kind of series that practically DEMANDS to be written in first person. And that’s something that makes me balk. I haven’t written in first person in years, not since early college. I see so many people do it BADLY (and I was absolutely one of them), unable to go more than a sentence or two without using “I” or “me”. Excessive pronoun use pulls me right out of the story. A lot of the YA authors I read do it really well. Maggie Stiefvater springs to mind. I personally don’t feel comfortable in first person. And the idea of being limited to one viewpoint for the duration of a series makes me twitchy. I LIKE third person, and I LIKE rotating viewpoints.
Pot made the very sensible observation that I should just sketch something out and see where it takes me. She’s right, of course. She usually is.
Q4U: Do you have a POV preference? Which one and why?
Kait I love the sound of that. Please write it!
I’m the opposite to you, I write 1st person more than 3rd. When I start writing anything, I naturally start it 1st person and have to work hard to do 3rd.
I’m not going to NOT write it. I’m just not quite there yet.
You should definitely write it. It sounds great! I love the concept.
I’ve never felt comfortable writing in first person. But I don’t write in 3rd person omniscient either. The reader only knows what the main character is thinking. The reason I have problems writing from different characters’ perspectives is when a love scene comes up, I don’t know how to handle it. I’ve read books where the feelings and thoughts bounce back from the man to the woman and most authors don’t write it well. I know I probably can’t. The book I”m working on now would be better, I think, if I could conquer that little problem. LOL
I rotate. You’re only ever in ONE person’s head at a time, but I shift POV character with scenes. I like the freedom it gives me to show the scene from the perspective of the person who stands the most to gain or lose.
Oh, I realize that you’re only in one head at a time. LOL. My biggest problem is the love scenes. Would you bounce back and forth in the POV (like many writers do badly) or would you only do one perspective during that particular love scene? With other scenes, it would be easy to decide whose POV it should be, but love scenes…yikes.
There are usually a couple of them (at least in a full length book) so I usually pick one for one of them and one for the other. Though it’s looking like there’s only going to be room for one in Revelation now that I look at the outline. Not that I’m crying over that. I loathe writing love scenes. I’d much rather write a fight scene.
I love writing love scenes. :0) In the book I’m writing right now, there have been some gun battle scenes and there will be some fighting later. I haven’t done much of that before, so it’s a new experience.
I absolutely adore the name Lorelei. I use it a lot when playing RPG games. But yes I prefer the 1st person POV when we only know what the main character is thinking. There’s more mystery that way. Plus I’ve seen so many writers that don’t write well from both a female and male POV although you definitely pulled it off in Forsaken. *fans self when thinking of Gage*
:chuckles: There’s a website where you can plug your text in and it’ll predict whether the author was male or female. FBS came out as written by a guy, if that tells you anything.
Your kitchen witch sounds really cool – what a great idea! I have some series’ mulling in the back of my brain too, just waiting…
I don’t write in 1st person at all, and if I pick up a book/read an excerpt in 1st, I generally put it back unless it was written by a close friend (and even then, I have to convince myself to even start it). I prefer 3rd person narratives on all accounts – I’m not able to “lose myself” in the story with 1st person narratives, and I like to have at least the H/h POV’s.
I’ve read a rare few 1st person books that I enjoyed – but I generally just avoid them.
I’ve read several 1st person POV’s and liked them okay. I just can’t write them. What I REALLY have trouble reading are books written in present tense. That drives me nuts!
They’re just so WRONG…
I don’t know that I actively avoid them, but I’m definitely more critical.
You had me at Great Dane! (Wish we still had drive in movies so I could take mine to see Marmaduke). A good story is a good story and I love the sound of it. I agree with Kelly Marie; I like the mystery…and what doesnt kill you will make you stronger?
Ha! Well, it’ll definitely be pushing my boundaries when I get to that. I need to start carrying a notebook around and making notes on the universe because it doesn’t take place in my Mirus world, so I need to figure out the deets and how it’s different.
I’d say that when you read 1st person that’s not well done, many times it’s not really about the viewpoint, but about other problems. If a character’s saying “I” so much that it’s driving you insane, then there’s probably not a lot going on but the character walking around in her own head, not really interacting with others–which is often boring. When you want to read interpersonal drama and you’re stuck with listening to one person whine, that’s not going to make you happy. Could be about voice. Could be lack of prose skill and an inability to play with words and sentence structures to make for pleasant, varied reading that flows.
You know that I embraced the first person big time for my new book and that it’s not what I was writing in before. For me that started out as a genre choice (YA single main character series), but then when the genre got tweaked (YA romance) and I needed to add another viewpoint, I ended up doing two first person points of view. When I rewrote scenes in the 3rd person, they were very different. They sounded more like my adult writing, and lacked the sense of immediacy I felt I had in 1st. For my teens, the whole world is just right now.
I know some people will slam my multiple 1st person viewpoint choice. For some people it’s just going to be automatic points right off the top, like there’s something wrong with me for doing it (although it’s been done, it’s still not really common and, I think, not wholly accepted).
Anyway, I’m not sure why you’d have to be limited to one viewpoint for the series just because you started off in 1st. Stephanie Meyer added another viewpoint later in the Twilight saga, didn’t she? In your first story, it’s about the heroine. She’s gonna have a man, coming up in the series (one would hope!), maybe there will be someone else who is important to the continuing story, like a villain. There’s no reason why those people can’t be given a voice as they develop in importance enough to warrant one. I’ve also seen mixed 1st and 3rd, where the heroine’s voice is 1st person and the hero’s is third. Kitty Thomas wrote most of her heroine’s account for Comfort Food in 1st person, dissociating to 3rd person when writing sex for the same character.
The thing is, no matter what you choose to do ultimately, there’s nothing that should be keeping you from PLAYING with it right now. And however you choose to play or start to sketch, everything can be changed. This is absolutely the kind of series that suits you so well, that really lends itself to who you are as a kick-ass Southern woman with too much going on an a lousy boss. It totally lends itself to your sense of humor and the kind of writing you do that can really sparkle.