POV: How to Handle the Point of View

Check out these intriguing thoughts on POV from my friend, Michelle Bellon:

 

Not So Happy Endings…

I’m close to finishing my second novel, and have been going back and forth with how to end it. It’s a psychological thriller called, “The Lights Will Never Fade.” What’s it about? I’m glad you asked.

Peyton just graduated high school in Jenks, Oklahoma, only to find that her entire family has been murdered. Left alone and without any family nearby, she moves to New Milford, Connecticut to live with Aunt Charity. The only problem is that damn shadow. It’s been visiting her since, well, that dreadful New Year’s Eve, nine months ago.

Trouble seems to follow Peyton as she adjusts to life in the Northeast. Aunt Charity has a secret of her own, one that won’t go away. The problem for Peyton, and Charity for that matter, is that the shadow gets what it wants. The bodies begin to pile up, and New Year’s Eve has come again, as sinister as ever.

Okay, so now that you’ve got a little background on the novel, what kind of ending do you expect? I’ve got a semi-happy ending in mind, and and not-so-happy ending in the same part of my mind. Most people like happy endings, but I’m not writing for most people. When I write, I write what has to be written. A friend of mine said that happy endings are nice, but they fade off into the sunset. Tragic endings stick with people.

As I finish the book over the next week or so, I’m curious to know what you think when it comes to the ending of a novel or a movie. Do you like them happy or sad? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Morgan Jane’s Interview of Jackson Paul Baer

A HUGE thank you to my new friend and fellow author, Morgan Jane. Her site is beautiful and her books have me wanting to adjust my to-read list. She interviewed me for her blog and you can check it out here: Morgan Jane’s Interview of Jackson Paul Baer

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Why Does My Writing Suck?

I remember when I was a kid and I played tennis for the first time. I was already a very good baseball player and could play a little football and basketball too. Tennis, however, took me quite some time to figure out. My brother Adam is 5 years older than me and when I was 12, my 17-year old brother pretty much dominated me at everything.

I’ll never forget the time that I was just an annoying 14-year old who persevered and finally beat my older brother in tennis. It was one of the greatest accomplishments of my young life and one that I still consider to be a goal that I fought tremendously hard for. I worked my ass off to beat him and the end result was well worth all the defeat I had to endure prior to that glorious day.

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Writing is similar to learning how to play a sport. It’s difficult at first but with hard work and practice, you can become great. When you sit down and write, your first draft should be lacking, to say the least. Many times, it will just plain suck. You’ll read it again and think to yourself, “What in the world was I thinking?”

Anyone can write but only the diligent can edit. Editing can be excruciating and mundane at times but it is necessary.

It’s not optional.

You will need to edit, rewrite, and then do it all over again, many times. So, don’t worry about your writing not being any good. Instead, keep working and keep writing. The only thing stopping you is you.

How to Start Writing

I often get asked by friends and fellow writers: How do you come up with an idea for a story?

While there are many ways of doing this, I’m going to share what works for me. Many times, I like to just sit down and write. I try to squeeze in times during the day, often only 10-30 minutes and write while I have available time. My main writing, however, is done at night.

I love the night because it is quiet. I’ll usually start around 9:30pm when everyone goes to bed and then write, off and on, till midnight. Some nights, I’ll write as late as 3 or 4am, depending on what type of groove I’m in. I’d realistically say that I write 2-3 hours per day with a minimum of 1 hour and a max of 5 hours.

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Regardless of how long you write, remember this: some writing is better than no writing.

If you can only spare 15 minutes, use that 15 minutes and know that every little bit adds up. It’s a lot like diet and exercise. Often, we don’t exercise as much as we’d like to but something is better than nothing.

I do like to write down big picture ideas for the novel I’m working on. I like having ideas to use as I’m writing and more times than not, what I initially wrote down changes from what I sit down and type. That’s okay, the important thing for me is that I have something to work from- a starting point. This helps me to not forget a good idea that may pop into my mind as well as think the overarching plot out in advance.

I also find it helpful to edit as I go. I’ll go over every chapter from the beginning after I finish each individual chapter. Then, I’ll go through every five chapters or so as a group so I make sure I’m keeping continuity. It also reminds me of the subtle details I inserted earlier and keeps things flowing nicely. Then, at the end, I go through the entire book 3-4 more times as a whole, taking time between each edit to let the book sit and breathe.

After all is said and done, it’s fair to say I’ve gone over the novel around 20 times. The most important thing you can do as a writer is to write. I’ve written so much crap that I’d be embarrassed for you to read it. Eventually, you’ll find what you were meant to write and then you’ll never stop.