Thursday, October 29, 2009

That Writing Thing

I know I haven't talked about writing much here in the past week or so, and that's because I'm giving myself a little distance from my wip, After the Fall, until I finish a tutorial for Flash. I have two chapters left in that book, so I plan to start the second draft this weekend.

Ironic that it coincides with NaNo, no? A lot of my friends are doing NaNo this year and of course a teeny part of me wishes I were too. Just a teeny part though. Instead, I've decided to try to get through the second draft in one month. There are roughly 30 chapters so it should break down okay (aside from the fact that in addition to working by chapters, I also do several passes for particular problems) and I'd love to have a shiny new draft come December 1st.

Giving me a nice kick in the pants, as usual, Erica Orloff's blog post yesterday talked about perfecting your pitch and she critiqued our 45-word pitches in the comments. Even if you aren't at that point yet, it's helpful to see what works and what doesn't, and at 45 words each (or less), it's not too cumbersome.

After the Fall has three point-of-views, and I can't decide which I prefer:

When Greg Vandenberg kills a masked intruder who's attacking his daughter, the community calls him a hero. But the intruder is revealed as his best friend and neighbor and the two families find themselves on opposite sides of the tragedy, both struggling to understand what drove the man to attack.


Becca Vandenberg wakes up to find a masked man trying to rape her, and is saved when her father kills the man. But the intruder is revealed as her neighbor and father of the boy no one knows she's dating, and she fears their secret may have driven the man to attack.


When Carol Stevens hears that her husband had "an accident" at the neighbor's house, she assumes he died of natural causes. But he was killed while trying to rape their friend's daughter, and now she's the only one left to protect her children from a community hellbent on crucifying their father's memory.

What do you think?


Erica Orloff said...

I put a response early this a.m. If the three points of view are equal, I would go omniscient.

"When a man mistakes his best friend for an intruder as he walks in on an attack in his daughter's bedroom, a community and two families are ripped apart as . . . "


Melanie Avila said...

Erica, that makes a lot of sense. I'm so used to writing each character close third that I didn't consider stepping back, but that seems the most obvious way to include all three POVs.


Lisa Marie Miles said...

I was going to say it depends on which view point the story is in, or who the main character is. But Erica said it better:)

Melanie Avila said...

Lisa, it has three POVs and they are all equal in importance. I started by writing it from Greg's perspective because it opens with him, but that was my only reason for writing it that way.

Natasha Fondren said...

I think Erica's right, too. You can always go on, after the initial pitch, to delve into each of the three characters. Of the three, I think your pitch for the third one is the best, the widow--probably you could lead with that right after the initial omniscent pitch.

WendyCinNYC said...

I like Greg's perspective, since he's the one doing the action instead of reacting to it (being attacked, hearing about the attack.) The second sentence tripped me up. I'd do something like:

When he finds out the intruder is his best friend and neighbor, the two families soon find themselves on opposite sides of the tragedy. Both must struggle to understand ...

Melanie Avila said...

Natasha, that's a good point.

Thanks Wendy. I like that.

JLC said...

Go Mel, go! Go Mel, go! *Turkey Dance*

I agree with Erica, taking the omniscient perspective covers all bases and provides a great overview of the content.

Good luck with the next draft!

Nadine said...

I was going to suggest Becca's, but I love Erica's suggestion!

Yay for a shiny draft by December 1! I'm going to try and do the same!

*emphasis on the word try, lol :)

ElanaJ said...

I was going to suggest Becca's too, but only because I'm a lover of YA and secret relationships and whatnot.

Robin said...

I would have said #1, but then I read Erica's comment, and I'm jumping on the Orloff bandwagon. It does sound really good with an omniscient voice. If you want, you can use my voice. I'm omniscient.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks JLC, I need the encouragement!

Nadine, we can do our own NaNoEncourageEachOtherMo. :P

Elana, Becca's POV is what's got me thinking about attempting YA next.

Robin, *snort* Have I mentioned you kill me? Just in case -- you KILL me! Erica seems to know her shizzle.

Janna Qualman said...

#3 grabs me more, and I like Erica's thought to go omniscient.

Janna Qualman said...

Oh! It just occured to me, those may not have been three different choices, but the three POVs.

I liked it! Much better than your first go round a while back.

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, I originally intended them as choices, but at some point I realized they could serve as one big pitch.

I do like the idea of going omniscient, I just need to work on it.

Erica said...

If I were to pick one of the three- it would be Greg's but I like what Erica said too.

Good luck going through your draft!