Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Battle of POV...along with some music.

*Post inspired by the Lightning and the Lightning-bug Dare to Share prompt, "Music."
We’d like you to share a post, new or old, that focuses on music in some way. You can post a poem, fiction, memory, or essay. Dare to Share is anything goes link up…as long as you stick to theme.

This is the first installment I'm posting to my second novel, November Rain. No, I didn't steal that title from Guns N' Roses.

The reason I'm posting this is not only because it fits with the music theme, but November Rain needs more work than any of my other manuscripts. I'm struggling with a POV issue and I could really really use some help.

I keep going back and forth on the issue. I originally wrote this novel in omniscient POV--back when I was even more of a rookie than I am now and I thought omni was actually an accepted POV in modern fiction. Turns out it's not, except for very rarely, or if it's done very well.

And though sometimes, when reading through the novel, it feels choppy, sometimes it feels to flow pretty well, so I think if I can work out the parts that don't flow, it just might work.

And this piece below is one of those scenes that feels a little choppy to me. So having some outside eyes looking it over would help a lot. The opinions I've gotten from others, who've read the piece as a whole, are that it works, and they feel, as I do, that it would take away some of the depth if changed to third person.

And that's my dilemma. The subject matter of this novel is grave (not so much here, however), and both main characters have equal part in the emotion and story. So, unlike my other novels, this one feels impossible to convert to third person without losing some of that emotion. So I struggle.

Okay, enough rambling. I need some feedback. I know this is only a small segment, and a very raw one at that, but I'm not sure my omniscient POV works, and I need you to tell me if this small bit feels disconnected or choppy, because that might give me an idea for the rest of it.

And be nice and tell me it's perfect truthful. I wouldn't be asking if I couldn't take it.

Just a little background: Lucas and Raegan have both experienced some harsh losses in their lives and, through the deaths of certain loved ones, have built a strong friendship, to say the least. But certain complications prevent them from exploring beyond that.

Raegan stood at the bar with a Grey Goose martini as her friends danced to the slow rhythm of the band.  She tried ignoring the man from her peripheral vision that had been steeling glances at her all night, his eyes mysterious over the rim of his glass.  She tried ignoring Lucas and Hannah.  She tried ignoring the ping of disappointment that betrayed her once firm desire to remain single the rest of her life. 
Instead, she lingered on the moment, her atmosphere.  She lingered on the overwhelming excitement that she would be published.  She lingered on Russell, how extremely unfitting, but attractive, he’d look in this club as they bore it together.  She let her mind imagine him there.
The end of the song easily segued into the next, the band barely pausing to change the tempo.  Only a short second passed before Raegan recognized the tune and she immediately looked to Lucas, her heart sinking.
As if connected once again, he stopped dancing with Hannah and turned to meet Raegan’s gaze.  The vocalist started the evocative lyrics to Come Rain or Come Shine, her voice oddly similar to Billie Holiday’s, and a whirlwind of emotions hit the both of them.  Raegan smiled feebly, trying to read the intensity of the storm in his sapphire eyes.
Lucas looked down in thought, hardly aware of Hannah inquiring of his sudden concern.  He brought his eyes back to Raegan at the same time that a man removed himself from the bar and offered his hand to her, smoothly speaking unheard words.  Raegan shook her head ruefully and turned away from the stranger, her back now facing Lucas.
There was no question in his mind, no doubts or reservations as he approached her.  Sensing him, she turned.  “Rae?” he asked, raising his hand.  “Dance with me?”
“Of course,” she murmured, somewhat reluctantly.  As she took it, his heat thawed her.
Neither of them noticed her admirer gritting his teeth as he turned away in disappointment, or Hannah standing on the sidelines with cross moisture in her eyes.  Lucas softly pulled her into him, only aware of the spell she put him in, the power of his parents’ song as it became theirs, and the memory of them dancing to it with the same level of adoration his eyes now held.
It didn’t matter how much he tried to bury his love, or that he used his desire for her to fuel his moments with Hannah.  Raegan was the first and only woman that, since Adele, would hold his heart, and she was here in his arms—a vision in canary satin. …
He could almost taste her as he brushed his lips against her cheek and buried his face in her hair, the locks falling onto her bare shoulders in a wave.  He consumed himself in her energy as he held her close, let it flow through her back and into his palm, then through his other hand and into hers—a cycle of renewal.  In response, he tightened his fingers through hers and held her hand close to his heart.
Closing her eyes, Raegan slightly angled her head, willing the warmth of his breath against her neck as it weakened her knees.  Fused together, she melted into him, forgetting in that much too brief a moment that he was merely her best friend friend.  He was Lucas, the man that held her heart in a way she didn’t understand. 
Both were speechless, communicating through the lyrics of the music and the simultaneous rhythm of their hearts.

As the amazing writers you all are, what is your opinion on omniscient POV? And to those of you who are just readers, do you notice the head-hopping enough to break you away from the story? If this isn't working, what might make it better? Thanks everyone for the feedback!


Jen said...

So if you didn't do this POV, whose would you do? I think you should stick with it how it is...and I'm not just saying that because I like your writing. I wasn't at all confused. The 5th paragraph had me reading it twice, but that could have just been me. Either way, the end had me wanting to know more of the story...which is what the main goal of writing a book is, right?
I'm babbling...I'll stop now :)

Patty said...

Frankly, I was caught up in this from the moment I started reading and could sense the building romantic tension in the bar. Two people dancing to a song they hope never ends.

Don't hate me for picking on this one thing in this sentence....
"She tried ignoring the man from her peripheral vision that had been steeling glances at her all night, his eyes mysterious over the rim of his glass."
Steeling, I think, should be "stealing"; it just caught my eye and I kept going back to re-read it, certain it was a typo.

You leave me wanting more, more, more...please!!

Jackie said...

I agree w/Jen. My interest was held throughout and upon finishing, I questioned how this could be written from a different POV while still giving the reader enough details about your two main characters. Perhaps, taking a cue from someone like Jennifer Weiner who changes the POV from chapter to chapter could work? However, from this entry, I think it works.
(just my .02)

Becky said...

Can I make a comment that has nothing to do with the POV?


The first line about the Grey Goose martini is what caught my eye. Now, I know don't drink, and that is totally okay, but I would never call any of my drinks by their brand name. To me, it's a glass of wine, or a pitcher of beer, or a martini (or apple martini if that is the flavour), saying Grey Goose sort of just caught me off guard. Now, if Grey Goose has something to do with the story, totally keep in in there.

Anywho, I hope you don't mind my input, and if you don't like it, don't use it! :P

Love the rest of it though

Katie @ Chicken Noodle Gravy said...

I really love the point of view, actually! In fact, I think it works wonderfully in this piece, because it allows me to connect so fully with both characters. Their emotions were so strong, so reflective of each other that I believe the point of view only made the scene stronger. And OH HOW SEXY the end of the scene was. Their dancing...whew, girl! You are fabulous at evoking emotion in your reader, and the emotion that I felt was that I wanted to go cuddle up with my hubby...hehe :)

GREAT WORK! I'd LOVE to read this novel after that heated and emotional scene. Thanks so much for linking this up!