Alright. I’m still trucking through these days, but they are getting harder and longer. I might be giving up and taking them one day at a time for a while. We’ll see.
Day 7 is a discussion of dialog. I’ve never had too many problems with dialog, and the examples of what not to do are atrocious. That being said, Ms. Domet tells me I shouldn’t start a scene with dialog because the reader has no background, setting, or base characters to provide their footing. Oops. My last novel starts with dialog. My high school creative writing teacher liked dialog as an opener if it included a hook.
So now I am going to be dialog conscious. In the next few books I pick up, I’m going to see if they start with narrative or dialog. Here’s a fun game. Go to the library. Pick a stack of fiction and open to the first page of every tenth book you see. Read just the first paragraph. The first, first paragraph, not a random opening to chapter 9. It’s how I started to learn about hooks. I’m not sure I have them right, but I’ve read more hooks than middles or ends of books.
Recently I have started doing the same game but with last paragraphs. I really need to learn how to end a story better.
Day 8 focuses on point of view. — The pesky shifting point of view. My current WIP (work in progress) has three POV’s , but I am debating on the need. Someone once told me, the mark of a good story teller is being able to make the story happen from one POV. I don’t believe it, and I do believe it. When one POV leads to a person randomly showing up conveniently outside a diner door to hear the pivotal conversation between two side characters, it feels weak to stick to the one POV, but when there are interesting hooks and hints throughout the book to reveal what happened off page or when the character actions really would have lead to spying outside that diner, single POVs are more interesting to me. Most of my favorite authors write from a single POV. — Now that I’ve written all this, Day 8 is not about single versus multiple POVs. It is about choosing the right POV. The interesting, reliable, relevant one.
For the novel I plan to do on the 90 day schedule, I think I’ll use 2 POVs. There is a romance to the story that would lend itself to 2 POVs, but the way it is currently outlined I could do it in one. It will be interesting to see what happens.