Literary Intermezzo

Intermezzo - a short movement coming between the major sections of a symphony

It's an odd time for me. I'm not actively writing anything at the moment except this blog post. The world building revisions to Urban Mythos are done, and I've got my query on the awesome YALITCHAT's Query Kick Around. I've received some excellent feedback so far and I continue to revise it. At the same time I'm researching agents, most of whom I already list on the YA Pubs and Agents list. There's so much to discover about these literary agents - interviews, tweets, blog posts, etc.

I'm reading quite a lot right now, having just finished The Scorch Trials, the phenomenal sequel to James Dashner's The Maze Runner. In the car, Libba Bray's Going Bovine has got me thoroughly intrigued. I've begun reading the first novel in Rick Riordan's new camp halfblood series - The Lost Hero. This guy is amazing. If you're looking for the pacing blueprint for Middle Grade adventure fantasy, read any Percy Jackson novel.

Speaking of Middle Grade, my MG WIP - Ghost Fishing is just sitting there, waiting for my return like a lonely puppy. The Lost Hero has me motivated to go back to the beginning and change things around. The opening chapters are too slow. That's got to change right away. Yes, the book starts where things change, but it's kind of debatable. Does the tale of the Titanic start when Leonardo DiCaprio's character boards the ship or when the ship hits the iceberg? I think Ghost Fishing has begun when he boards the ship, whereas I might need to start somewhere in the North Atlantic.

I'm also debating what to do with the POV. When I started writing the book, I'd just finished reading Frank Beddor's Looking Glass Wars, and decided that's the style and voice I was aiming for -- third person, limited, kind of fairytale tone. The other option on the table is 1st person, and then within that POV, I might go past or present tense. I had a great time writing 1st person in Urban Mythos. The humor really flows more naturally and the character developed easily. That said, you kind of lose some of the fairy tale nature of the story. Clearly, I'm of two minds on this. I wonder if I can combine the fairy tale element with the 1st person POV and the immediacy of present tense. Any ideas? Anyone? Ideas? Bueller?


Kate Larkindale said...

As you know, I love first person present tense, but I'm concerned it's getting a little over done. I'm writing my new book entirely in first person present, and from the snippets I've read from two of my NaNo buddies, so are they.

A lot of people hate it and turn off as soon as they see it (I used to be one of those people). If you're doing first person, I'd suggest past tense would be easier to sell. Third person, well, it's wide open. I just read a novel entirely written in third person present. I loathed it, but it inspired me to try it. Interesting....

But in the end, your story will tell you. At least, mine always do. I just write it the way it comes or it won't work.

Jay said...

Hi Kate. I have heard that 1st person present tense is tricky business. I'm a fan of past tense, but sometimes it can get confusing when the 1st person character starts blabbing at the reader - it's often in present tense.