Hello, readers! Happy Wednesday.
As I posted on Monday I was going to attempt Camp Nano with a new project while editing my other. That was the plan right up until about four that night. I strained to try to work out a plot in full form, but my brain wouldn’t concentrate. Something wasn’t gelling right with the second draft of my other horror novel.
Like most writers, I’m constantly trying to improve myself. I knew even through this second draft, at least the halfway mark I got to, I still wasn’t where I wanted to be. My writing while all right wasn’t quite to the point I needed it to be.
This thought occurred over and over in my mind. No matter how many times I went over the work it felt…jilted and fake. There was just too much narrator in the story. It took you out of the whole story. With that type of distance in the storytelling process, there was no way I’d expect to scare anyone. It felt more like it was happening to someone else and you were on the outside looking in. That wasn’t going to work for me. I love to write the horror that is psychological – the type that gets into your head and really messes with it. I wasn’t going to accomplish it that way.
After putting a whole lot more thought into it and searching around online I realized the issue. Wrong point of view. That is generally the case when something isn’t working for me. Imagine the frustration I felt to be halfway through the second edit and know I had to start again.
This wasn’t my book baby. Not yet anyway. It was more a lopsided sandcastle. One you didn’t bother to use the buckets to create the towers with but molded by hand. I won’t say it was a complete waste of time as it was a learning experience, but it wasn’t even close to where I needed it.
Early in the morning, I sat down to fix the second draft. How? I changed the point of view from the third person shallow point of view I was using. Instead, I turned the magnifying glass up and took the writing into third person deep point of view. The world comes alive in such a way that I’ll have a better ability to bring it to life.
I’ve quit sharing most of my work on here for a lot of reasons, but for the sake of this, I’ll show you second draft to third draft piece. Please take into consideration none of this has seen an editor yet:
The moonlight cast its beams down between the tree eaves. What minimal light flowed to the earth bathed the scene in an eerie glow. It danced along the small peaks of the river as it ran downstream. Even most of the wild animals had retired home for the evening. The only creatures left were the crickets chirping their cadences and the small frame of a young woman that stood beside the river.
She wore a cloak to fight off the slight chill of the night air. The hood lifted over her head to hide underneath. This was a momentous place for her. It was the ending to her life as she knew, and the beginning of a burning hatred none could understand. At least, none that she’d come across.
This was the place she’d chosen to take her life.
Here at the river’s edge. Her womb mate – built in best friend – gone forever. All facts that she could no longer ignore, not anymore. Not as she stood there on the cusp of where it had happened. The loss so great, it was a daily companion. Long since it had iced the blood in her veins. Cooled her demeanor. And driven her to a sort of madness that was all her own.
On this such anniversary of the loss, she stood among the minimal light of the moon as it cascaded down through the leaves. Twenty years. Twenty years ago her sister had climbed from her bed, walked outside and into the river to never be seen again.
A knot formed in her throat. Tears sprung to her eyes. It burned. The pain. The anger. It burned together as one until another cadence had taken its place. One that sought revenge. Revenge from the young boy that had driven her precious sister to such a fate.
To me, the flow of the story is more organic. It allows you to be in their thoughts and surroundings other than reading everything from afar. This was and will always be the goal of my books. It’s just taken me awhile to learn the method, needless to say, this discovery has left me with a lot of work to do. Work that I intend to do mostly during Camp Nano as each chapter has to be rewritten.
This journey has held a lot of ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Remember, L.O.L. (Live it, Own it, Love it) or it isn’t worth doing.