April 20, 2013 by Ifeoma Dennis
My new WIP- the working title is DOT- is taking shape…slowly.
Naturally, I started writing in first person present (like the manuscript- BLUED- I wrote last Christmas) but halfway the first chapter, I found myself wondering if I was grasping the “voice” of my protagonist right.
I went to high school in Nigeria and the “voice” an average sixteen year old uses there is quite different from the voice in most YA novels I see. It’s less snarky (not that I have a problem with snarky, I like it!) and the “slangs” are also different.
The voice in my first manuscript (BLUED) was snarky but I still wonder if I did it right since it was not the way I talked as a sixteen year old.
(I’m twenty-two now, by the way).
So what I did for DOT was write the first chapter in three POVs- first person present, first person past and third person past limited- hoping that when I was done, I could look at them and decide which I loved most.
But it was even more confusing when I finished the first chapter and I tore my hair over it for days (who knew choosing a point of view could be that tough?)
So I shared my concerns with my awesome CP- Carissa and a new super writer friend Laura– they both gave me their opinions (thank you!) and after sleeping over that for two or three nights, I decided to write DOT in third person past limited.
And this is the reason why-
In my mind (God willing), DOT would be a series- each told from the POV of different characters (as opposed to one steady protagonist through the series) Much like Graceling, Fire and Bitterblue . So it’d be slightly difficult capturing each of them in unique voices with the first person POV. I don’t want the lines to blur.
Also, it’s a YA (High/Middle?) fantasy so I think a third person POV would do the world and plot more justice.
I’m still outlining but this is where I am right now. I’m glad this particular WIP problem is solved.
Issues I’m still worried about-
One- the inciting incident in my opening pages (I feel it’s a tad too violent) – but I guess I’d just write and come back to the opening pages later.
Two- should I make my protagonist a sixteen-year-old or take a risk and make her twenty? Guess I’ll decide by the time I’m done with my outlining- since my book won’t contain explicit sex scenes, is it necessary to make her twenty? (I’m inclined toward twenty because I’m closer to it than sixteen, so…)