I should be writing but I’m dicking about with my new shop page. (keep an eye out for it!)
I should be writing, but I’m carefully crossing jobs off my to do list with my favourite green pen.
Oh who am I kidding, I’m not crossing jobs off carefully! I’m crossing things out with wild abandon because the way you doing anything is the way you do everything. I am a creative but I’m also a slob.
I should be writing (fiction) but I’m writing this post about all the ways I am uncharacteristically procrastinating.
For the past 3 weeks I should have been working on my memoir, the one I have successfully pitched to the publisher. I should have been working on the three quarters finished first draft of my SUCCESSFULLY PITCHED memoir about how I helped myself heal from grief and confusion by going to Paris. But I was starting – yes STARTING – a new idea for a memoir based on my foster sisters and my and my little sister’s adoptions. It’s a damn good idea and I’ve already started dreaming about it but I have to finish Remembering Paris and get it to the publisher so they can say yes or no.
And for the past 3 weeks when I should have been working on my SUCCESSFULLY PITCHED story Mimi Gets away with Murder (working title) I have been researching 3rd Person POV and tense. Actually, that’s important because Mimi needs to be in 3rd Person (limited) POV in present tense to get it to feel the way I want it to feel.
Okay, I’ll give myself a pass on that one.
The benefits of using 3rd Person POV in the Present Tense are perfect for this story and are as follows.
- Gives an epic scope. I want this story to have a cinematic quality.
- Easily jump between time frames. A blend of perspectives, using Limited POV with moments of Omniscient.
- Allows for a large cast – I always have a LOT of characters but I am mindful of this with this story so I’m cutting out at least 4 named characters and multiple additional characters. I think even post-covid, whenever that is, anything that makes it to our screens is going to be pared down in setting, casting, and crew required to make it happen.
- Narrator isn’t constrained by character voice. I love the opportunity for dramatic irony afforded by this POV. The narrator can point out things to the reader of which the characters are blissfully, dangerously unaware…
- Through the use of free, indirect discourse. The 3rd Person
- The limited 3rd person means you can hide things from the reader. I don’t want an omniscient 3rd Person narrator (like Less by Andrew Sean Greer or Phillipa Gregory’s Tidelands) who knows everything. I want the reader to believe that nothing is set in stone with this story, which leads to the most delicious aspect of using this POV in the present tense…
- The reader doesn’t know the outcome. If I was writing in past tense, the reader can assume many things once they ‘understand’ who the narrator is, about the outcome of the narrator. I know the title of the story gives away something, I mean Mimi does get away with murder, but does she? Mmm? I don’t think so.
Here’s a sneak peek at the prologue and opening few paragraphs of the first chapter of Mimi Gets away with Murder.
I WOULD LOVE LOVE LOVE SOME FEEDBACK ON THE FOLLOWING!!
The air is already warm. She sees the tell-tale glow on the horizon, even deep in the forest. Time’s ticking, as her father always said. She picks up her pace, ignoring the lightening sky, keeping her eyes on the forest floor. They will be on her if she doesn’t keep moving. The leaves are still wet, and they slap at her as she runs. She tries to steady her breathing. All those years behind the walls, she’s forgotten how to run. Now that she must run, her chest threatens to burst with the effort.
The ground suddenly slopes downwards. She runs on, keeps her head down, watching for branches and roots that will trip her up. A shout rings out and she stops for a heartbeat, her head spinning. The air smells of the extremes of life and death. The foulness of rotting leaves and the pulsating green of the live ones compete for her senses. The sun, inching now over the horizon, makes its intense presence felt. Breath deafening her, she adjusts the bag on her shoulder and stumbles across fallen branches and roots. The ground is steeper here, and she weaves her way through the trees, avoiding the thick trunks for fear of insects. A set of rough stone steps appears in the undergrowth. She smiles, ducking under a low hanging branch, remembering his story about clearing the path here.
‘Look for the steps. You’re almost there if you find the steps.’
She starts down but the mossy stones send her bare feet sliding from under her. She lands heavily on the third step, heart pounding. A quick check-in; no pain. She goes to stand, and her hands sink down into the moss. It feels like the realest thing she has touched in a long time. Sudden, hot tears splash onto her bare shoulder. She once read somewhere you can eat moss and use it to heal wounds.
Another shout goes up. They are close.
The marble foyer glows, the setting sun blasts like a laser through the tinted glass façade of the house. Mimi lifts a hand to cover her eyes, taking care to lift her chin just so and hold her pinkie finger up at an angle. Sundown, always her favourite time of day. She closes her eyes and sees herself standing there. Was it only days before? The white silk sheath, white crocodile pumps, ready to leave for the Globes, waiting for the drones to swing down and snap their pics.
She is blinded as the foyer pulsates with the dying light. Wedged into a corner with a marble step on one side and the cold mirror on the other, this dress is white too, but it’s torn. She pulls at the threads and tears it a little more. She pouts at her reflection, eyes flicking past her own face finally. She frowns at the blood spatters on the dress, down her leg, on her white lounge shoe.
She tilts her head to the side and gives herself some side eye. Her left, definitely her best side. She tilts her head the other way. Pretty damn good either way. The golden light in the bright room shifts slightly, reminds her the clock is ticking. Sighing, she lifts her head away from the mirror, stops. Right it is. She tilts her head back a little further and brings it down hard into the glass.