Sunday, January 13, 2008

Back to the novel

I thought I would read through my work in progress this weekend, in readiness to start writing again tomorrow after a break for Christmas and sickness.

As I did so, I came to a realisation. The first person narrator I am using is not working, because it is placing too many restrictions on the way I can structure my story. I need to be able to bring in other viewpoints without resorting to the gimmicky use of diaries, letters and emails as I was intending.

I think it also gives my story slightly too much of a chick lit feel in the early chapters, when in fact the novel will be very much issue-led women's fiction, a novel to make the reader think and cry rather than laugh out loud, I hope.

My first task, before I go any further, is to try a rewrite of the first 10,000 words into a third person narrative so that I can compare the two versions. I have to be honest and say that it has been at the back of mind that my planned structure might not work in a full length novel. I need to get these basics right to be able to continue with enthusiasm.

Three notable things:

1. I read Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach this weekend. I am still trying to make up my mind what I think about it, though overall I did enjoy it, I guess.

2. I'm already starting to roughly plan novel 2 in my mind and bought a book in a charity shop yesterday, which will help with research.

3. Son 2's Annual Review went very well on Friday (if you don't know what an Annual Review is, don't worry, just ignore this bit!) We are pushing to finally get OT formally included in his statement.


Casdok said...

Glad to hear the annual review went very well! I dont think ive ever heard anyone say that before!!! :)

Cathy said...

Casdok, we are lucky that the school is incredibly supportive and, in our opinion, doing a great job. The LEA case officer didn't turn up ( hooray!), the EP did, but was in agreement with us and very impressed with his progress in the last year. Just need to get the OT sorted out...there is now a school OT, but children with OT on the statement are given priority, as she just doesn't have enough hours. He has had a little input from her which has helped, so we now have the evidence to prove that further intervention would be beneficial to his future progress.


Anonymous said...

I couldn't decide about which narrative to write my novel in either but I decided on first person and just hope it works. Good luck with yours, I'm sure you will find the right way around it.

Crystal xx

Anne Brooke said...

Go for it, Cathy! It's exactly what I'm doing with "The Gifting" now - and I'm thoroughly enjoying it!



Lane Mathias said...

I'm doing exactly the same thing but the other way round! My draft is in 3rd person but reads too remotely. I'm experimenting now with the 1st person but it means hacking so much stuff away. Aargh. The dilemmas:-)

Good luck Cathy!

Jenny Beattie said...

Cathy, ditto with the WIP - being rewritten in third person. And ditto - I read On Chesil Beach this weekend too. I loved it.

Cathy said...

Good luck to you too Lane with the rewrite.

JJ..are you changing yours following the feedback from Julia?

Re On Chesil Beach, I think a couple of things bothered me. Firstly the characters' names seemed too Edwardian (they would actually be of my parents' generation) and secondly on occasion I found myself thinking too much telling and not enough showing !

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Glad the annual review went well.

Novel #2 originally written in the first person and now rewritten in third person. I think it reads better this way, I hope it does anyway.