Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'll have a SLICE of POV Pie, PLEASE!

Recently, while working on my current novel project, I began to wonder how well my POV changes were executed in my first published novel, Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider. I promptly grabbed the novel off the shelf and began to count and label POV switches, thinking that I might find a pattern or a lovely graph of POV usage to tickle my fancy. What I found was something that tasted a little like day-old donuts...

There were 81 POV Switches (herein called POV Instances, or POVI's) in all. That in itself is no crime with the ensemble cast I employed to tell the story. Beth Rider was the primary POV; which is to be expected as, well, read the title of the book... Okay, then her hero, Michael Stone was the 2nd most used POV, and then to Javier, a middle-of-the-road character who was seeking truth, the 3rd. So far, all this is perfect. Sitting firmly in 4th place is the antagonist, Jack Dawn. Right on course. Excellent.

So what's the problem?

I found some POV errors that me nor my editors noticed before the book went to print. 4 out of 81 POVI's were a little muddy or mixed. Do they matter? Not to the readers. Readers don't care about such things. But authors will notice and wonder, 'did she mean to do that?' So for the edification of all, I have charted the POVI's of Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider, The Judging, and my work in progress, Rabbit: Legacy. Let's have a look:

Here, you can see all of what I was sharing about the POV distribution among my characters... I like the distribution of POV, and am satisfied that it is correct for the storyline.

Now look at unpublished future sensation, THE JUDGING:

This novel has been edited close to 20 times by four people, and it about as close to perfect as it is going to get before it goes to print. It is proper that there are 4 main characters giving the POV, and 3 supporting. Also, my minors are so minor, that they only give one shot. This is good for victims... It works well.  The POVI's are good. But I found other problems that I would not have found had I not plotted the POVI's. I found some Chapter-ization errors. (Yes, I made that word up). I found some places I should break for a new chapter (such as when introducing a new character for the first time). I never really 'saw' that before I had the POVI's plotted.

Now, on my current project, I am finding the plotting is helpful to make sure I am on track. Writing a brand new novel from scratch, I have a tendency to run off with my emotional favorites and leave the heroine/hero behind as I develop the book. Here, Canaan appears to be the main character because so far, he has the most POVI's. But... it will likely be an even split between Canaan, Beth Rider and the antagonists. Let's see how it looks with 42,000/100,000 words down so far:

By looking at this POV Pie, I can see that the lukewarm guys and the evil guys have been written first, and the heroes last. I will need to get to writing those guys soon or no one will win the battle at the end!

So, I sincerely hope you enjoyed this slices of POV pie, and maybe you will one day plot your POVI's and see how you're doing in this sensitive subject among authors. I enjoyed the exercise and I will do it for all my novels now, BEFORE I send them to the editor.

I'm off to make changes!  Boker tov/have a great day!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A LEGACY of fine and exciting Characters...

Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider fans have a common cry among them: PLEASE WRITE MORE MRS. MAZE! 

Aiming to please those who ask as well as myself (for who loves to write more than a writer?), I am happily and busily working on the sequel to Rabbit. This novel is entitled RABBIT: LEGACY and it will bring all loose ends to a satisfying conclusion...most likely.* The goal is 100,000 words and tonight we sit at 37,000+. It is looking really, really exciting. Here is our proposed Book Cover:

*UPDATE 12/31/09 Rabbit: Legacy is not the last in the series. There will be one more entitled Rabbit: Redemption... FYI...

I will not post any spoilers here, in case you're not quite done with the first book, but it might be fun to chat about the characters a little...

The Bad Guys:
RUFUS: His name comes up only 2x in the first novel; in the Prologue, he is the one who was set on fire by Schaffer... Well, Rufus -- he looks bad. He's a Rakum Elder who has been taking the Dying Buzz for a few years now, and any of you who have read the first book, know that this action can morph your face slowly into that of a monster; namely, a vampire. Think Nosferatu. That is how bad he's gotten. He might look a little like this:

BERYL &; MERYL: Identical twins, these are beautiful and angelic of countenance, but have hearts of the coldest stone. Their blood father was Umbarto, the worst of the worst. Their spiritual Father, Abroghia, was the High Father of the Rakum race. Rabbit readers know that the old guy was 100% (demonic) spirit. Yeah. That's evil. The twins have not fallen into the habit of eating the dead nor taking the Dying Buzz, and they have maintained their comely appearance as they attempt to destroy everything that is good in the world they occupy. They might look a little like this:

The Guy in the Middle:
CANAAN: A Rakum Elder who wants to be left alone. He is my new favorite character. He has been hiding from the brethren so he can stay with a woman that he loves. He has no interest in joining Rufus and his ilk, and he is very insulted by the traitor Rakum who deserted the Brethren to become human. Yet he gets dragged into the fray because of threats Rufus makes against his wife and his lifestyle. This guy is neat. I think he looks a little like Dierks Bentley:

I'll stop for now. The Good Guys will travel over from the first novel; Beth Rider, Michael Stone, Jesse Cherrie, Javier D' Millier, and David Walker. As well as a new protagonist, Rakum Father-turned-mortal Damien. They will band together with Canaan to make a stand against the lunatic Rakum who would destroy them all.

So it's back to writing. Hope ya'll are having a great night!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

20,000 Media Outlets Heard About RABBIT this week!

  • My publicist is amazing. I received a list of all of the outlets my Press Release went to, and there were more than 20,000! Already, more than twenty have responded in favor and I guess if thousands respond, I may have to turn some down...right? It blows my mind!

  • I have been writing on the sequel, Rabbit: Legacy. (Fall 2010) I am most enamoured right now with the new lead, a Rakum Elder named Canaan. He is fiercely loyal but brutal and incredibly hedonistic through most of the novel. True, he will have a spiritual awakening eventually, but not too soon... He is more interesting when he is running the show. Of course, if you haven't read RABBIT: CHASING BETH RIDER then you might be looking at me cross-eyed right now. But hey, that's okay. Just go pick up a copy and read it. You can buy it all sorts of places. And if they do not stock it yet (it has only been out 1 month), ask the store manager to get it.
  • Ellen wrote a foreward for another author's book! Yes, 'tis true. A good friend and fellow author has written an amazing book entitled THE OCCULT INVASION OF HEALTHCARE and he asked me to write the foreward. This is quite an honor. Today I made him a kickin' foreward that should be published in his novel next month. I will advertise his book for him then. For now, his name is Michael Elmore. Good guy...
  • So it's back to the writing mill for me. I have some promoting to do, some writing, and some adjustments to make on my web site. Ya'll have a nice day now, ya hear?