Traitorous doubts

(Or How To Lose A Day of Writing)

Joe’s Post #8 — 

Number of pages written to date: 125

Number of movies seen: 1 (Flight)

Number of pages I should have written today: 10

Number of pages written today: 0 (reason below)

Pies eaten: 0

This week: I could see it coming.  A wall.  A big one.  Thick and tall and very, very wide.  I tried to ignore it, but the faster I went, the farther down the road I sped, the larger it loomed.  I spun the wheel, braked, swerved, then wham, bang, crash, clink, clink, clink.

I’d hit a wall.

AKA: writer’s block.

How did I hit it?

One simple question.

Had I made the right POV choice?

Oddly, it was something the other writers have written about this week.  YA, like most genres, has rules.  One of them is that it should, but doesn’t have to be, written in 1st person.

It’s actually a style I’m quite comfortable with, but one I didn’t choose for this book.  Why?  I have three stories to tell and two of them would get left out if I went only with 1st person POV.

But then the idea of 1st person POV wormed its way into my head like some sort of vile maggot.  Now I know there is a ton of dead tissue up there for the thing to feed upon because as the day wore on, the more I tried to get back to 3rd person POV, the more the maggot of doubt grew.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are books out there that use 3rd person POV.  Harry Potter, for goodness sake.  Wings.  The Inheritance Cycle.  So maybe I’m just bugging on this too much, but like it or not, that doubt ate at me all day.

Maybe it’s part of the process.  Maybe there are some days where I need to question my choices, to reinforce the decisions or reverse them.  But I hate that doubt.  Hate it!

Hopefull, by tomorrow, I will have resolved the issue one way or the other, but today, oh man, today, I lost a day of writing because of a single nasty bit of doubt.

6 thoughts on “Traitorous doubts

  1. Joe, all I can say is “Ack!” I fear I may have had something to do with this unfortunate occurrence, given my own post on YA ‘rules’ about adult POV’s. Suffice to say, I, too, am backtracking…. I still haven’t even started writing, so am thrilled by our 125 pages -wow. But I can tell you I spent most of my ‘writing time’ yesterday tinkering with my outline, deleting all scenes that weren’t going to be told from the POV of my young female protagonist… result, may deleted scenes and a huge question mark about how I am going to reveal the villan and the villan’s motivation without having the villan as a POV character…. so, all to say, I share your pain.

  2. Whoever made the “rule” that YA should be first person is stupid and blind. In YA, as in any other genre of writing, you write the story in the viewpoint that best tells the story. Joe – I’m a YA writer. I know this, and I’ve read as many stories in YA from third as from first. I’ve WRITTEN YA from both points of view (sometimes the same novel, twice). What got published? 3rd person. Keeper and Feral are both third person pov. So is Royal Monastic, but it’s nonfiction.

    Yeah, questioning where you’re going is good – unless it stop you in your tracks and unless you’ve bought into a rule that is based on one person’s declared statement because they seem to “remember” most of the stories in YA as first person.

    It’s bogus, it’s stupid and it’s not a rule – it’s not even a guideline. It’s just what one person decided and made sound authoritative and everybody else just nodded and went, oh, yeah. right. It should be that way. Like social media upping your audience – when ten million of you are vying for a limited resource, guess what? Not everybody is gonna win

    Write the story the way it needs to be written. gotta run.

    • Bev, you make a good point. At this point, I’m sure that more than a few of us are starting to doubt our choice of protagonist, our genre, our POV, everything… In fact, I think this exchange of ideas may have given me an idea for my next blog post.

  3. Thanks, Bev, sometimes I think I just need someone to whack me upside the head and say, stop overthinking things!!!
    And Paula, don’t worry, that seed of doubt was planted long, long ago.

  4. Having read, admired and loved two of your novels, Joe, you can master both POV’s equally well. I would loathe however, to see you miss out on two of the three stories you have probably already outlined, because you chose one POV over the other.

  5. Joe, you will work out the POV riddle. I’m confident of that. You’ll also get over your bruises from hitting that wall. The most spectacular thing in this post is that you’ve written 125 pages! One-hundred-and-twenty-five pages! Holy Lemon Meringue! You rock!

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