Warning: A rant may occur ahead. Read at your own risk for rambling frustration and perhaps spurts of crazy laughable moments.
So on Sunday I got my MS back for another set of edits that mainly involved POV changes and few other minor fixes that were more so agree or disagree to this word take out or this word change, or a few about explaining the reasoning for this happening a bit more. Since I shockingly had Monday off, that was when I dove into blog hopping and sorting out this fourth round edit. (Which is more like edit seven for me at this rate.)
It was all relatively easy edits except for the POV changes, particularly, one section of about six to seven paragraphs of POV changes that I about wanted to rip my hair out with. Correction, I did want to rip my hair out. As well as scream, hit something, throw my computer out a window, and cry.
Thankfully only one of those things happened, and no I’m not saying which.
The problem with this little bastard of a section was it had a couple quick POV changes, and it was only ten pages into the MS. In my head that’s no big deal, you can still understand it, what does it matter if I switch POV? That’s how I write for moon’s sake! But I guess the reviewers are a bunch of critics and don’t like it. Jerks.
So, I was given suggestions for changing a few paragraphs to the other character’s POV.
Now here’s where the hair pulling began. Two of the paragraphs I had in that section I did not want to change. If I changed the one paragraph it was going to turn a matter of fact into an assumption of the other character and I did not at all like that. But if I changed it to stay in the POV that would keep the fact, I screwed up another paragraph of mysterious questions I was not going to cut.
What the hell route could I really go then?
No matter what changes I tried to fit the suggestions, I hated what I was coming up with. I hated the way it sounded, and I hated what it took away from the story. I felt like it was changing my voice and I loathed it. I felt like I was destroying my writing, my voice and style, and I couldn’t make myself do it.
I spent over an hour of frustration, lots of swear words, ranting, asking help from friends for suggestions and support, and the verge of some unpleasant mental break due to stress, doubt, and anger before I finally said — pardon me a moment — fuck it.
I moved on.
I was getting nowhere fast and I just couldn’t keep trying or I would blow a gasket and a half in doing so. So I skipped ahead past that bitch of a section and kept plugging along, hoping later on a friend could help me untangle the mess into something that I still felt was my voice and style but would satisfy my coordinator.
Well, roughly ten pages or so after that, as I hit another POV change, I suddenly hit an epiphany. Staring me in the face was a sentence in the POV I needed in which I could cut and paste part of the problem section with the mysterious questions to that later page and it would fix all my problems. It even worked better by moving it ten pages later or so in the story, it made more sense there.
With renewed hope and glee, I finally went back to that problem section and did just that, then worked out the rest of the section to stay in the POV I wanted so I would not lose the matter of fact I wanted.
And what do ya know, it worked out in a way that I was happy with. I could live with that change in print and not feel like I lost my voice or style. Now I just have to pray my coordinator is alright with the change I induced instead of her suggestions to making it the other character’s POV. It fixed the problem, so I really don’t see why she wouldn’t allow it.
After that I just kept chugging along through the edits, and about seven hours later, I finally finished. My brain hurts.
Considering I did it all in one go — thanks to the fact I knew today and Wednesday would be shot to hell for me in being very productive due to work and riding and I didn’t want to run out of time — I’m deciding not to send it back just yet. I think I’m going to wait until Wednesday night when I can sit back down and give it another read through to make sure I coherently edited for seven hours straight with very minimal breaks, and then I’ll send it back and pray I don’t have to do this again.
But at least I got it done, and at least I figured out the problem section.
Seriously though, what is so wrong with POV changes in the same chapters? If it’s clear and coherent who’s thoughts and actions are who’s, why the goddamn hell does it matter?
That’s how I write. That’s my style. Writing in a double POV like that is how I’m writing my novel, and I am not going to change that. To me that is more in depth and more connecting by knowing both character’s thoughts and actions. It gives you such a greater image and understanding. Yes, I see where sometimes it isn’t appropriate. And yes, I know it’s supposed to stay one POV per chapter.
I’m not saying I’m opposed to learning to write better and clearer, I just want to know what the hell is wrong with POV changes like that? If that is how I write, then why should it matter as long as they are clear?
To hell with the critics and reviewers I say. (I apologize if anyone reading this is one, you may have your opinion, this is just mine.) I’m unconventional in writing and I know it, but I’m not changing that completely when that is me. When that is my style and my voice.
Writing is art, and art is about being expressive and making it for yourself. I will never change that in my style no matter what some editors or reviewers might say. Who knows? Maybe that style will be what makes me best selling one day because it is unique.
(A girl can hope at least.)