Saturday, April 05, 2008

BOM: The Editing

 Let me answer Karen's question: 

Hardly anyone these days writes with an all-knowing narrator (omniscient POV).  Instead, we write each scene with a particular point of view character.  When you do this properly, the POV character can only report what he or she hears, sees, feels, and thinks.  In fact, everything you write in that scene is coming through the POV character's brain.  

Here's a brief snippet from SHE'S IN A BETTER PLACE, otherwise known as Fairlawn #3: 

Joella slips the blood pressure monitor onto her arm, presses the power button, and waits until the mechanism applies steady pressure to her wrist. After a minute, the pressure eases and the result flashes in the digital display: 165/93.

She presses her hand to her chest and swallows hard. What on earth is going on? She did forget to take her hypertension medicine last night, but would missing one dose shoot her pressure this high?

Maybe it’s the slice of pepperoni pizza she just ate for lunch. Pepperoni is loaded with sodium.

She tiptoes to her bedroom doorway and glances down the hallway, then closes the door and locks it. Jen and Gerald are working downstairs, so they shouldn’t mind if she takes a little nap. Heaven knows she needs a break.

She reclines on the bed, props her feet on a pillow and folds her hand across her stomach. Deep, slow breaths, that’s the ticket for hypertension. Steady, even breathing in and out, in and out. Close your eyes and think of sunny beaches, swaying palm trees, handsome men serving lemonade on golden platters . . .

She’s about to settle into a sun-warmed imaginary beach chair when she remembers the squash—Gerald’s nutritionist suggested lots of yellow vegetables, and she forgot to get squash at the grocery. That means she can’t afford to lie here daydreaming; she needs to go out and pick up fresh vegetables.

 Clearly, everything above is from Joella's point of view.  All of those thoughts are her thoughts.We are directly in her brain as of "What on earth . . ."    And yet no italics are needed.  If I did use them, it'd be because I wanted to emphasize a word or abrupt thought.  

Very simple.  :-)  And much less cluttered than muddying the prose with "she wondered" and "she thought" or mucking it up with italics.  

As to the editing of A TIME TO MEND: 

The editing process went as smooth as silk with both publishers . . . sorry, but no horror stories to report here!

I did remember some more research I did--I read lots of books on cancer, plus I had just finished a book on the link between abortion and breast cancer, so I was "up" on the disease. As I look through my folder on this book, I see several articles on treatment of breast cancer, too.

Tomorrow--results/reaction from the Book of the Month.


1 comment:

Mocha with Linda said...

This is so fascinating. I love seeing the process behind the writing. And you are killing us dangling these little excerpts in front of us! :-)