Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Can I Get a Little Perspective?

Who says only 1st person narrators are unreliable? I'm a little frustrated with my 3rd person narrator, but I would really like to give her a chance to do her thing. The problem is, she's holding back. It just might be time to let someone else tell the story.

I recently revised my latest manuscript and really built a much more solid plot and characters who sometimes do what they want no matter what I try to offer, but something still seems to be lacking. My beta reader approves of the overhaul in terms of plot and structure but finds it a little difficult to relate to the main character for reasons unknown to her. Something was still coming between the MC and the audience, and neither of us can put a finger on it. Could it be my attempts to keep the narrative historically authentic? Could it be that I not delving deep enough? I honestly don't know.

Working the line between an authentic voice and accessibility in a YA historical can be a difficult task, and I find that no matter how much I want to hold on to the nuanced observations a 3rd person POV can offer, I have to question her reliability. Frankly, I don't think she's giving me the whole truth. In the end, I might just need to hear it all from the horse's mouth, so-to-speak.

Sparked by the challenge and never willing to settle, I have spent the last several days playing with yet another revision. I have taken the first 3 chapters and let my MC tell her own story.  The first chapter wasn't too bad. She mostly gabs about herself, anyway. The second chapter got a bit more challenging when she had to bring her sisters and a pair of ghosts into things. The third chapter, however, brought a man into it, and oh, what fresh hell was wrought? Isn't that always the way of it? Of course, the MC hasn't quite figure out men, anyway, so this whole business could just make or break the experiment.

My 3rd person narrator tried to warn her. She tried to explain the subtleties that tend to elude a 17-year-old girl, but the MC didn't seem to be listening anyway. No matter how much the narrator tried to explain the subcranial workings of resolute but lost man, my MC could not be reached. So now my dear MC gets to try it on her own. On the bright side, I get to see her perspective a little more sharply, which might force me to do more than just narrate. On the down side, more than a few of my treasured darlings will end up on the chopping block...or remodeled into something unrecognizable. (Of course, that might be a positive as well.)

How many other writers out there are playing with POV? Has it made you crazy or offered an epiphany? I'm holding out hope for a startling revelation and the answer to a prayer...

And don't forget:  MARCH MADNESS IS ALMOST HERE! Be sure you check in over at Denise Jaden's blog for the big launch on Friday, and check in here every Thursday!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

An Interview with RATGIRL

Today, we have a guest on our blog. YA author Gayle C. Krause has stopped by with a new friend from her upcoming release Ratgirl: Song of the Viper.  Let's listen in as Gayle interviews her fascinating lead character along with a few other interesting friends...

“I’d like to thank Ghost Girl for having my characters and me, as guests on her blog today to discussRATGIRL: Song of the Viper, released in February 2015 from Noble Romance-Young Adult.
My name is Gayle C. Krause and this is Jax Stone, aka RATGIRL.”
Jax nods. “Hi.”
“So, Jax, I’m sure the readers would like to know more about you and RATGIRL: Song of the Viper story. Could you tell us something about yourself?”
“Well, when the story starts, the only thing I hate more than my life is the rats. They’ve taken over the streets and buildings, and they’re even in my bed. I guess it’s to be expected since I live in an abandoned city sewer. But they make my job raising Andy even harder. At five, my brother can’t take care of himself yet, not in this hellhole.”
“So your life circumstance is not ideal.”
Jax shakes her head and sighs. “Not by a long shot. Global warming has practically devastated the earth, and the sun’s deadly rays make it impossible for us to spend more than two hours on the surface. And, there’s not enough food, thanks to him.” Jax tilts her head toward the last chair on the stage.
Culpepper, the tyrannical mayor, leans forward in his seat, his beady eyes narrowed.
“Let’s not exaggerate the facts, girl. The sniveling crybabies left in my city make me sick. They act like they’re the only ones who have suffered from the sun’s attack on the Earth. If they had any gumption they’d pick themselves up and start working to make a better life for themselves. I did.”
Jax answers. “I tried, but you made it difficult. Thanks to Nonna’s teachings, I’m the only one in Metro City who forages for wild edibles, while others starve.  We eat our main meal in the morning, just before sun-up. Once it rises we descend into our hidey-holes, until it’s safe to come out again in the evening.
Bah! I should have known you were one of those insufferable ECOS.”
“Next to Jax, is the most heart-stopping, swoonworthy male character in YA novels, today. He’s got a body like the statue of David, and a heart filled with love, not only for Jax, but for all mankind. He’s a true ECO.”
Jax clasps his hand and a crimson haze blossoms on his cheeks.
“You’re embarrassing me, Gayle. I just workout and eat right.”
Jax grins. “Easy for you, since you live in Antarctica in 2511. It’s the only sustainable continent left on earth. Jax’s cheeks blush, too. I’m only kidding. I’m sure the readers would love to know him as well as I do. His name is Colt. Colt Conrad.”
 “Colt, what do you have to say? You’re seated between these two. Is that on purpose?”
“Yes. Syl, here, employed me, and my Air Caravan to bring food to Metro City, but he took it all for himself and his cronies. The 
homeless only got what The Altar Boys could smuggle to them. Every time I pulled into the old station I noticed Jax observing me bartering with the desperate people, who traded whatever family heirlooms they had left, for food. Eventually our paths crossed, 
and the rest is history.”
“Bah! History! I’m the one who had a plan to return Metro City to its glory days, with my new underground city.  But first, I needed 
to rid the city of the vile rodents that killed my wife and son. “
Jax bolts to her feet.
“But you couldn’t do that without my help. And once I rid the city of rats, you reneged on our agreement.
“You did that all alone? Can you tell us more?”
“My one goal was to get Andy to the New Continent, where he could live a normal life but when Culpepper kidnapped him, along 
with the city’s homeless children, it made my goal a daunting one. Desperate to get Andy back I formulated a plan and used my 
hypnotic singing voice to carry it out. He left me no choice. I took all the children of the dying city to safety. But I couldn’t do it 
without my friends and Colt.
“Thanks Jax. Colt, I remember something about the secret tattoo on your bicep. Could you tell us a bit about the ECO’s?”
“Sure. The ECOS were a group of environmentalists, who tried to preserve the Earth’s resources when severe global warming first started to affect our lives. They imported trees that would survive in warmer temperatures, and moved to the country to grow their 
own root vegetables. Their numbers included scientists, agriculturists, horticulturists and anyone environmentally minded. Jax’s grandmother and my grandfather were two of the founders. They passed their knowledge of sustainable living on to us.”
 So Sylvanis Culpepper, you’ve taken on the role of villain. How are you?”
His gruff and selfish nature pours out with his words. “That depends on whether you’re at the beginning of the book or the end.

“I can still see the tumult in your relationships, even now that the story is over. So can you tell Ghost Girl’s readers where they can 
find RATGIRL: Song of the Viper to read your story for themselves?”
It’s available as a paperback and as e-book for Kindles, Nooks and all other e-readers.
Thanks so much for having me.

Thank you for joining us today, and we wish you the best of luck. Does anyone have any questions for our feisty guests?