I finally got my butt back into gear over the last few days of the holidays and worked on the alternate chapter one of Ghost Fishing. On a recent post, I ruminated over the style and voice of my Middle Grade WIP. This is the curse of voraciously reading the genre. I set out to write it one way because I was enchanted by the fairy-tale-ish style and voice of Frank Beddor's, Looking Glass Wars. So I wrote.
And then I set my WIP aside to pay some heed to Urban Mythos, which needed some revising based on agent feedback. While I was away from my MG-that-could, I read a few Rick Riordan books whose attitude made me smile and laugh. This gave me pause, and I wondered if my new story would be better served in a slightly more active/snarky/1st person-ish style. I'd had some success with this style before.
Therefore, I crafted a new opening, told in 1st person and with a very different style from the original. Now, I'd also spent some time outlining the plot and character throughlines before I set to work. As a result, the opening chapter had a very different opening scene than the original. Regardless of my style choice, I planned on keeping this new scene. I had a hunch - not so much a preference - just a very strong feeling that if I put the two chapter ones in front of my eleven-year-old daughter, she'd go for the newer version.
It was time to put them to the test. I sat her in front of the computer, with both versions open, and awaited her reaction.
As a result, I took that new first scene and rewrote it into the original version's style. In the process of doing so, I think I've arrived at a third style - which is mostly the fairy-tale feel, with a bit more attitude. This style lent itself extremely well to the scene I wrote last night. So far, I agree with Rachel's opinion. That little girl (okay - she's pretty much 5' 5" or 5' 6" so not so little, but she's still 11 yrs old) knows her stuff!
And now, fueled on some Starbucks, I'm off to write some more!