What was my point…of view?

My biggest surprise was how my point of view slipped from time to time. Let’s just say I left myself some pointed comments.

I recently read through the draft of Art History in order to check for continuity errors (I have a habit of switching names of things) and refresh myself with the story in order to outline the last few chapters before sending it to my editor.

What I thought would be about six chapters at most, turned into twelve, and I still feel like I may be rushing the ending a bit. This is a new genre for me as a writer, so I’m giving myself some space to mess around.

I’ll be doing a post later about my strategy for keeping track of plots and subplots, as well as the details from scene to scene. I feel like I’ve smoothed out a bunch of rough spots, but more on that later.

My biggest surprise was how my point of view slipped from time to time. I’d start a chapter with Sebastian’s POV and then slip quietly into Willoughby’s head. Derek’s chapters occasionally hopped over to Casey or Sebastian and back. Let’s just say I left myself some pointed comments.

Since I started writing the story as a serial, I didn’t see it as a whole, enclosed story. I knew the happily-ever-after was inevitable (that’s hardly a spoiler for romance, even m/m romance) but how we were going to get there felt distant, cloaked in the mists of the time.

That was a problem for future Betty.

Or Lisbeth, since that’s the name I publish this under.

I can’t even stay in the same one of my own heads!

While I know there are authors that have mastered the third omniscient point of view, I feel like this story, with its two idiot leads (I say with love), lends itself to a more intimate view. It helps to be inside their heads. That’s how I’m seeing the world as I write.

Breaking point of view is now on my list of writing quirks I need to be watchful for. It happens in the drafting phase when I’m trying to keep up with my characters as they deviate from my carefully planned outline. I admit, it’s fun to follow them down those paths, but sometimes I need them to just sit still. Just for a minute.

I think one day I’ll publish a version of the story where I annotate all the places where I smacked myself in the forehead and thought, “Young man! Where do you think you’re going?”

Why do I write?

All writers have varying reasons why they write one thing or another. Yet, why write at all? Why do I write?

Charles French asked this question and challenged his readers to answer it for themselves. What follows is my attempt.

I don’t have a biography that dates back to early childhood when I would speed my way through story books and have to write my own sequels to keep the story going. I did do my local library’s summer reading contest, but sometimes I read shorter books just to boost my numbers.

I don’t have a compulsion to write where I get physically ill when I’m not producing words or building worlds. I worry about people who say that and I think they should talk to their doctor about twice-daily “settle the hell down.”

I don’t have a sense of fulfillment when I finish a piece or satisfaction when I’ve put something out there to be read. I have a strange disconnect when I put a piece of writing in the “done” box of my brain. It’s still mine, but not only mine, and I’m okay with that.

I do enjoy the process of writing, the feel of stamping out my thoughts into these little stick images of letters. I like how I can take these feelings and broadcast them to a wider audience and understand that some will resonate, others will not.

I really love writing down what I see in my head, because writing has always felt more like transcription rather than invention. I am leaning into one myth while disrupting another, but while I know that I am creating each line out of my own will and the influence of writers I’ve consumed (not literally – what have you heard?), but there is a liminal zone between the thought and my emittance of the thought that feels physical and wide, giving me the illusion of channeling a separate sphere.

It’s not. I’m just making stuff up, but it feels cool.

That’s it!

I write because it feels cool.

Why do you write?

A small sum of words about always online

I read a lot, but I often forget to “log” it on sites like Goodreads or other social media. I wonder if that means I’m not actually reading a lot since I don’t have some sort of public-facing proof of my accomplishments.

I think back to my earlier days on the internet and the sheer joy at “winning” or “earning” a small gif that would live near my avatar, under my username, somehow highlighting me as an elite, chosen one, or able to afford $5/month. We have giffed1 life, I think. Making all accomplishments meaningless unless accompanied by a publically acceptable emoji.

If feel like we’ve surpassed the dystopian vision of Black Mirror‘s “Nosedive” episode and the trends of “cottage-core,” “slow-living,” and “quiet-whatever” are an aesthetic response to hustle culture and digital achievement. Influencing a slow life is still hustling, but at least we can tell ourselves that it’s a lifestyle we can achieve, if only we didn’t have to pay rent.

I prattle on in an attempt to not work more on my revisions to Art History because I am enjoying it and have an appointment in an hour. If I work up until I have to stop, then I’ll be annoyed and I want Seb and Derek, and Woodlawn College as a whole, to be my happy place.

In the meantime I’ll see if I can finish reading something to get that achievement online. Ding!

*swish* (⊃。•́‿•̀。)⊃━⭑・゚゚・*:༅。.。༅:*゚:*:✼✿

  1. You can pronounce that any way you please. I do not care. ↩︎