My current work-in-progress is faltering and I can blame it on POV. Point of view. This is not my first book with alternating first person point of view between two characters. Actually, it’s my fifth…the fourth in this series. It isn’t even my first attempt to write from the point of view of a male character…it’s my third. So, what’s the problem?
The problem is this particular character. He’s been a part of five previous books, but this is the first time he’s been given a voice. He has a very distinctive voice and sometimes I wish he’d shut up. And, I think that’s the problem—when I allow him to speak through me, it becomes overwhelming. I’ve tried to create a buffer between us, but if I keep my distance and stifle his voice, it makes it kind of hard to write a chapter.
I breathe a sigh of relief each time I complete a chapter from his POV, relishing the easy breezy task of writing a ‘girl’ chapter once again. Each time I finish a ‘girl’ chapter, I dread having to switch back to the ‘man’ voice. So, what do I do?
I could skip ahead and write all the ‘girl’ chapters first, saving the ‘guy’ chapters for last. Or, not. I don’t have a problem skipping around, but since I don’t write from an outline, I have no idea what will happen from one chapter to the next. If I plan it out ahead of time, it ruins the surprise. That’s no fun!
I could kill off my problem character, thus quieting his voice once and for all. But, that would be like killing a part of myself. Besides, he’s not supposed to die. He has a role to play in the story. He is the story.
So, what do I do?
I’ll do the only thing I can—what I should have done all along. I’ll give in to the voice and let my character carry me along. Instead of trying to fight him, I’ll let him take over…for a while. Until the story is finished, I’ll share my mind with him and allow him to speak through me. I’ll stay up late, lose sleep, drink lots of coffee, and drift through life with one foot in reality and the other in fantasy-land.
After all, who needs reality when fantasy is so much nicer? Reality is for edits. Fantasy is for story-telling. So, farewell reality. I have a story to tell.