Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Adventures and Teaser Tuesday? Yes, let's do that.

So, lately, I've come to a place in my life where I realize I have no idea what the hell I'm doing.

I blame school. School makes me lose my mind.

So, because of that I'm started to venture into unknown territory. I've got my helmet and a sharp stick and that's about it. Normally, I write third person past tense YA fantasy. Well, I've figured, "Fuck it," and am currently working on a book which is first person present tense YA contemporary.

Am I insane? Yes, yes I am.

I want to really focus on voice here, and strangely, I'm succeeding. In preparation for this, I've tried to find a few first person "voicey" books, like Hannah's Break or Will Grayson, Will Grayson. But other than that, I've never written a contemporary novel before. hell, I've only written ONE, count it, ONE, urban fantasy book. Which leaves me pathetically underprepared for this venture into contemporary territory.

But remember, I have a sharp stick!

I doubt I'll ever try to market this book, which is currently untitled (But why don't we cann it NAM? Just for fun.) NAM isn't a book that I've wanted to write for very long, although its main character Antoine has been bothering me for quite some time. So, with nothing but a vague idea of a conflict and a handful of characters, I dove in. And what do I get?

Is it physically possible to gut and then hang yourself with your own intestines, or would you just die from trauma or whatever before you could tie a noose?

Yeah, you read that right. Whether I am completely insane or not is up for debate. But, truthfully, this line took forever to write, because I never know how to actually start books, even ones in genres and tenses and POV that I am comfortable. The key with really nailing down Antoine's voice was to let go of my reservations when it comes to writing and literally writing whatever comes into my (or his) head. That includes swears and all that nasty teenage slang.

I get dressed and text Wyatt even thought he can’t text me back. I tell him about how much I love him, and that no distance or person or whatever will change that and I know it’s bullshit and he knows it’s bullshit and we don’t care.

I know what you're thinking. (Well, maybe. I'm not a mind reader.) That second sentence is pretty much a run on. And I wrote it purposefully like that because the way I hear Antoine speak in my head is he goes on and on and sometimes doesn't know when to stop because it's easier to keep talking than stop and ohmygod breathe!

Who knew I would take creative liscence? It's kind of fun.

The bell rings, so I don’t have to talk to Mrs. Cheery-McFuckface anymore.


...Yeah, I think I'm getting a handle on this voice thing.

“Hey, bitchface!”

It takes me a moment to realize the bitchface is, in fact, me.

I turn and find a girl standing behind me. Her brown hair is tied up in a ponytail, and she’s got a sports bag at her side with a lacrosse stick in her hand.

I level the most annoyed stare possible on her. “Yes?”

She drops the bag to the ground, rears back and wails me across the face with her lacrosse stick.

-whistles innocently- I'm starting to have fun with this. Though I'm sure you have no idea what is happening, I hope by this point you understand what kind of character Antoine is. (Note: Antoine has been forced to move from a city in Quebec to a small town in Alberta and hates it. We are seeing his first day at school. Poor Antoine. Havin' a bad day?)

So yeah, that's about all I can share. I hope I can get some support as I venture out onto this crazy new world. Hopefully after this novel I can get back to writing fantasy. Contemporary is great, but I can't make a living out of it. It's way too hard.

If anybody knows any great first person voice-y books, let me know!




  1. I love the voice!! I think you're doing an awesome job with it :) And isn't it funny how lines seem to come out of nowhere once you're in a character's head?
    Trying to think of first-person voicey... The only one really coming to mind at the moment is Justine Larbalestier's Liar (the MC has a pretty strong voice - and also is a compulsive liar, which makes figuring this book out oh-so-fun :D )

  2. From what I've discovered, the more voicey you write, the easier it comes. Next thing you know, you're talking like a voicey teen to your boss. And they don't like it.

    the run on sentence was great! Also, first person present is now my favorite way to write. It's from the gut. and I love it.

  3. I like what you have so far. Especially your MC's voice. It seems to me that you've put a lot of thought into what makes him tick. Which is the way it should be, but I wouldnt get too caught up in working in a particular style simply because you think thats whats required. Do what comes naturally to you and what youre most comfortable with. Odds are, an editor will make you change it anyway :)

  4. I agree with the others, and according to eerything I've learned voice is a HUGE thing to get right. Keep up the awesome work,and can I just sy hanging someone with intestines sounds inteanse and DEF. something I would read, because I like the dark and creepy!! LOL

  5. This is a fantastic voice.

    I'm also venturing from third person past into first person present, so I understand how hard it is. But, you have a much better hold on it than I do. I'm totally intrigued by your character, all because of his voice!