My mid-grade-reader-in-progress provides me with many challenges. But the most difficult challenge for me is deciding and sticking to the Point of View (POV) that is most appropriate for my book.
“Shelter of Last Resort” is a story about Jermaine, a 13-year-old black boy living in the poverty-stricken Ninth Ward of New Orleans, who endures Hurricane Katrina. And I am writing this manuscript in first person.
Think about that a moment. Here I am, a middle-aged white woman from Northern Indiana. Imagine my pain and anxiety while trying to squeeze thoughts, words and experiences into my main character so that they come out sounding like a black boy living in a gang-infested neighborhood.
You have heard of writer’s block. This is similar. But it’s more like writer’s constipation.
I consider flushing the entire project down the commode.
With the prodding of a few of my writing friends, however, I decide the best option is to chew on the foundational fibers of character development. I discovered there are techniques that actually help move things along. Here are the treatments I use to bring Jermaine to life.
That’s how I know I am finally mastering my character’s voice.
Now, if you will excuse me, I must go plunge into my writing.
Never a Duh Moment
Sometimes I feel like I am in God's way. For example, if I forget an appointment or miss a deadline. Or when I place great expectations on myself and fall short. Or when I get lost because my sense of direction falters 98 percent of the time.