In April I absolutely flew through my first draft. Even the days when I felt more like throwing myself from the roof of the office rather than forcing myself to write another 1,000 words became less frequent.
There were times when I knew, unequivocally, that most of what I had written was utter shit. However, if you can pull a single 10 word sentence that forms the beating heart of the scene from a pile of crap, then the other 990 words were worthwhile.
And guess what? You can edit them later.
What you can’t edit is a blank page.
As I neared the First Draft finish line, doubts began to creep in.
Here’s a picture to sugar up the text:
The main fixation of my anxiety: the tense and the POV. First Person Present.
Will anyone like it?
Does it hinder the story?
I like an awful lot of novels written in Third Person Past…maybe I should rethink the POV and the tense…
So, again, I Googled.
And, again, I was surprised at the reams of literary snobbery floating out there in the wasteland of the worldwide web.
First Person Present is crap
It’s like watching a film
Novels are not traditionally written in First Person Present
Philip Pullman doesn’t like First Person Present
Fuck traditionally. I am only concerned with whether it’s good or not.
I thought about changing it all. Maybe I still will.
Then I thought about my reasoning for First Person Present.
I like that you can see into the protagonist’s mind. He’s not a very nice man; I wanted the reader to feel complicit in his schemes, dragged into a seedy, backstabbing universe. I felt the present tense also helped with creating some urgency. The plot is twisty, so for it to be narrated with hindsight detracted from some of the Holy Fuck moments.
That I’m even considering my novel has ‘Holy Fuck moments’ seems a world away from where I was in January, wrestling with the bones of a plan and thinking this’ll never work.
Which is really rather marvellous.