Sunday, March 25, 2012

Decision and challenge time

I have a decision to make and it is rather a big one.  My first novel was written in first person and it works really well as 'Sarah' my character is involved in the whole novel. But, and this is the big 'but' Books 2 & 3 would probably work better in 3rd person.

As such I have re-written the first chapter into 3rd person and am posting it here (along with the same chapter in 1st person.

If anyone is out there that has the time to read it and give me some feed-back I would be so appreciative.  This is obviously a decision I will ultimately make myself, but I would love some advice. 

The re-write is huge - over 50 000 words and 97 pages of work, but I want it to be really good, so am prepared to do it. 

Please read and let me know, thanks, via a comment or on Facebook or email.


Third person draft

Chapter One


I hate school, I hate math, I hate Mrs Wheeler and I hate being me. Sarah sank lower in her chair. What was it that Mrs Wheeler had just said?

“Now class, pay attention. As you know today the Senior Selectors will be attending class. It is a great honour for the school that they are prepared to come in and assess you all.” Mrs Wheeler said.

Huh! What Selectors? Sarah wondered.  Everyone seemed to be quite excited, what had she missed as she sat daydreaming again. She knew that no-one would answer her if she asked, so she just sat and waited, hoping Mrs Wheeler would explain a little more.

“Class, be quiet. Get out your workbooks and let’s begin. They will be here soon enough, but we still have finals to prepare for, so don’t think today is a holiday. Sarah, stop looking so vague and find your math book, you know you need to work on this area more than everyone else in this class,” she added. The snickers of laughter brought a blush to Sarah’s pale face; no hiding it when she was upset or embarrassed.

Leaning forward, Sarah covered her face with her hair and found her math book. I hate math, I wish it was English first up, at least I can write. At least in English the teacher doesn’t criticize me all the time; although I am still singled out. It makes the others dislike me for being good at something; she thought, sighing. The math lesson dragged on and on and on. The morning tea bell finally rang and everyone rushed out of the classroom chattering away.

“Do you know that my brother was accepted into training for the Special Forces when the Selectors came around a couple of years ago?” Estebelle boasted to everyone. “He writes home every month telling us of the wonderful places that he has visited. Of course, our family is quite famous in the SF and I am sure that is where I will be sent.”

“I think I have a wonderful chance for acceptance into the Entertainment Guild” Amy-Lee breathed in her sultry voice. “Everyone knows they are always looking for talent. My father has some special connections in this area of course; and I have been studying for years to be ready.”

Sarah realised with a sinking heart that she really hadn’t been paying attention. Today was the day. Today was the day that her future would be decided. She wouldn’t get a say in what she could do with her life. It was all up to the Selectors. She knew that she wanted to work with animals; in preparation she had already spent most holidays working with the healer in her neighbourhood, caring for all the beautiful creatures of her area.  She loved helping soothe them, listening with her heart and soul to their words, words only she could hear. She had never told anyone about it, she knew her Mum would say it was her imagination, but she knew differently. She could ease their pain with her thoughts.  If I tell the Selectors about my skills, maybe they will believe me, and then I could be good at something, not just different, but really good.


First person draft


Chapter One


I hate school, I hate math, I hate Mrs Wheeler and I hate being me. I sank lower in my chair; what was it that Mrs Wheeler had just said:

“Now class, pay attention. As you know today the Senior Selectors will be attending class. It is a great honour for the school that they are prepared to come in and assess you all.” Mrs Wheeler said.

“Huh! What Selectors?” I wondered.  Everyone seemed to be quite excited, what had I missed as I sat daydreaming again. I knew that no-one would answer me if I asked, so I just sat and waited, hoping Mrs Wheeler would explain a little more.

“Class, be quiet. Get out your workbooks and let’s begin. They will be here soon enough, but we still have finals to prepare for, so don’t think today is a holiday. Sarah, stop looking so vague and find your math book, you know you need to work on this area more than everyone else in this class,” she added. The snickers of laughter brought a blush to my pale face; no hiding it when I was upset or embarrassed.

Leaning forward, I covered my face with my hair and found my math book. I hate math, I wish it was English first up, at least I can write. At least in English the teacher doesn’t criticize me all the time; although I am still singled out. It makes the others dislike me for being good at something; I thought, sighing. The math lesson dragged on and on and on. The morning tea bell finally rang and everyone rushed out of the classroom chattering away.

“Do you know that my brother was accepted into training for the Special Forces when the Selectors came around last year?” Estebelle boasted to everyone. “He writes home every month telling us of the wonderful places that he has visited. Of course, our family is quite famous in the SF and I am sure that is where I will be sent.”

“I think I have a wonderful chance for acceptance into the Entertainment Guild” Amy-Lee breathed in her sultry voice. “Everyone knows they are always looking for talent. My father has some special connections in this area of course; and I have been studying for years to be ready.”

I realised with a sinking heart that I really hadn’t been paying attention. Today was the day. Today was the day that my future would be decided. I wouldn’t get a say in what I could do with my life. It was all up to the Selectors. I knew that I wanted to work with animals; in preparation I had already spent most holidays working with the healer in our neighbourhood, caring for all the beautiful creatures of her area.  I loved helping soothe them, listening with my heart and soul to their words, words only I could hear. I had never told anyone about it, I know mum would say it was my imagination, but I knew differently; I could ease their pain with my thoughts and at times I could write about something and it would happen.  If I tell the Selectors about my skills, maybe they will believe me and then I could be good at something, not just different, but really good.



5 comments:

darlin said...

G'day Beverly, I'll give this a read when I have more time and send you my feedback. This morning I'm just waiting to Skype with my son, his wife and my precious granddaughter, they should be done their dinner soon and online. Have a wonderful day. Cheers.

Mark Tullett said...

Personally, I prefer the First person draft- It feels more direct and connected to Sarah. However, I would say use the one that works for YOU. I wrote 'Winner' in first person and am following that up with the sequel in first person too. It helps me connect with the characters and hope it does the same for the readers.

Julie said...

First person draft is much more compelling...It has a real "actual" feel...although that might just be because the third person draft is just a rewrite of the first person draft without actually changing the focus..if you know what I mean...

Good luck with this!! I am so looking forward to reading the final iteration no matter which person you choose!

Beverly said...

Thanks everyone for your comments - I am going to keep it in first person. It is the style I personally like best for this book and that has been the majority feed-back.

Mom said...

I prefer the first person Beverly, I find that the character is very much alive, you can feel for her in every sentence and takes the reader into parts of their own lives where there was a struggle. Anyway as Mark says you need to feel comfortable with the character, if you stay with the first person, does it mean that you now have to re-do the next two books ?