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Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$15 Amazon gift card OR an “I Don’t Like Racism” T-shirt
Good question for the #90DayBlogChallenge. I have written about this before, if you had asked me this question a few years ago I probably would have said, ‘nah, I’ve never use them so I can’t see the value.’ This changed massively when I wrote my last novel. Sacrifices, Why so? Well possibly it’s down to how I personally story-tell. I’ve always kinda wrapped up the story and not needed a epilogue. And, I never wrote anything that I felt really need a prologue before chapter one. Is the short answer.
That was until I wrote my first ever historical romantic suspense. Firstly, because Sacrifices moves back and forward over the decades of the present day, 60s and, 80s, secondly because the story starts a bit like the movie Pulp Fiction. eg. from the end, then works backwards I needed a prologue. I found that if I didn’t have one I could not show in a clear way to readers, what’s happening now for my main character Jane. Then step back to the 80s and move around with the story for both my main characters.
I think, this switch in genre from just contemporary romance showed me as the writer, I really do need a prologue before chapter one. Literally it’s like two pages, so they don’t even need to be long, just long enough to set the scene.
Now interestingly, in the original first draft of Sacrifices, I did have an epilogue too. Once we reached the HEA for the characters, I then did give some story on ‘what happened next’ after the critical ending. I actually felt at the time this was again the best way to show readers a full rounded story, allow them to have any questions about the future answered, and a really nice way to round off! But that all changed during the editing process. LOL as things tend to. There is NO epilogue at all. The content is the same but it’s now the final chapter, and more active with dialogue in the present day setting. Rather than told as narrative.
Is There Any Real Point In them?
Yes! Three years maybe after I originally write about this and answered a writing prompt that’s similar, now I’d say yes. However, I do feel that my personal use with prologues and epilogues will only feature if I write a historical fiction. Reason being because as mentioned I tend to be able to start and wrap up a story (normally) without them. The time hopping has shown me from writing historical romance the use can enhance how the story told.
I must admit, as a reader I don’t really care for them, and love to jump into the story, but I do read the prologues as I may miss key things!
What about you as a writer, do you use them? Why or why not? What’s your thoughts as a reader?
Good question for the 90DaysBlogChallenge , personally I can write in both past or present. I can also do first or third person. I would not say when it comes to storytelling, that I do one better than the other– I do ’em all, and all well! But in the past I have gravitated naturally to present tense and first person. Most recently while writing my Unsolved Mysteries I’ve actually been drawn to the third person and past tense. More what readers are accustomed to you could say.
My next novel, Sacrifices is written in the present tense and third person, my Romance Set in Paradise and Romance in The City books are in the present tense but mixture of first and third. I guess I tend to mix it up depending on how I feel or how the story calls me to tell it.
Well, if we’re talking about preference yes I do have one LOL. I love the present tense style of writing, and also as a reader. Yes, it’s probably gotten a lot more popular now, compared to when I first started writing. I remember I had editors and publishers telling me, ‘no, romance is not written in the present tense, or first person.’ I gave that advice the middle finger, and kept it real and how I wanted to write. But in all honesty, what I love about the present tense is this: as a reader I’ve always found that it brings you closer to the story. While others may argue ‘that’s not how you recall or tell a story’, I really give this no attention. I love it as a reader, and some stories I’ve read I can’t even imagine it in the past tense, the present suits it. I also have found as a reader that it brings me closer to the character.
As a writer, when I first ever attempted to write a story I naturally, and I mean naturally gravitated to the present. I have no idea why? It didn’t even bother me or really occur to me to place it in the past tense. I just wrote and found it much more comfortable. I have heard other writers say it is, ‘more of a challenge.’ I really can’t comment I’ve not found that ever.
When it comes to the POV and person, again as a reader I do love a first person POV. Mainly for the same reasons as the tense, the closeness, getting to know the character. But I do agree it can be limiting, as in what you can show a reader I feel this as a writer and reader, who loves the first person.
How Do I Decide The Story Telling Style?
I let the story tell me, simple. Once I’ve outlined it and sit down to write whatever tense comes to me and feels more natural, I’ll go with. It’s as simple as that. I must say for some odd reason I did go with third person past tense for my Unsolved Mysteries the first two that I penned. I can’t guarantee that they will all be like this at all LOL. I let the characters and story talk to me, I have no real rules. But, as explained I do have a preference or where I may naturally gravitate.
Are There Pros and Cons For Each Tense and POV?
Sure, yeah I feel that there are. Some of which I’ve mentioned and do go into detail when I wrote The Art of Short Story and Novella Writing. However, I do feel that really it’s only a decision the writer can make, keeping in mind the ‘vibe’ I call it, they wish to give the reader. Do you want a little distance, or up close and personal? At the end of the day, I don’t personally feel that one tense or POV makes a story better, that’s down to how the writer writes it, or they show the story. I don’t feel that tense or POV really can enhance a badly written story, or make a good one even better if it’s already good!
What Have I Learned From Experimenting With Tense and POVs in writing?
First, to stick to what you naturally like. Ignore the words of others telling you, ‘this genre does not do that.’ Do what you want. Secondly, I think from writing more in the third person I’ve learned about ‘head hopping’ my editor has called it. The all important omniscient style of writing in third person. In fact, I really managed to curb the ‘head hopping’ and remain truly omniscient in my writing from writing Sacrifices!! And that’s from having a very strong editor to tell me to ‘pull up my socks.’ If you’re not sure what this is, basically head hopping is like jumping from one character’s POV, to another in the same paragraph, page, chapter etc. Either by internal thought or action.
I never really noticed that I had done that that often, but apparently I did LOL. So now I am much more aware of it, and how I could still show different POV’s in a better way in the third person, or remaining truly omniscient it was a great realisation.
In a nutshell, I like all tenses to write in but love the present. Same with the POV too I like them all, but have realised that the third does allow me to show more! Even if the first is something I love to read, and in the past have naturally gravitated to more when writing– not so much now. That said, I can’t say I would never write first person again. I just know I will, when the right story and character pops into my head.
Do you have a preference as a reader or writer? Or does it not really matter, as long as the story is told well?
I’ve never read anything by this author,but I was instantly drawn to her book covers when she asked for support with sharing her new release. I jumped on it, I just loved the book covers. After reading more about the series it sounds like a pretty cool one, and certainly different from all romance I read. Check out this series by M.F Adele, there’s three books, the third was released yesterday. They can be read on Kindle Unlimited too. Have you ever read a futuristic romance?
Demon Demands is now available!
Slow build/Med burn
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Free download of Lover’s Retreat as we end the week on Amazon. Grab your copy here.
From enemies to lovers, learning to live, laugh and love again is so much better with a partner in crime, and soul mate …
Lover’s Retreat is book # 2 of the Romance Set in Paradise Series of stand alone steamy, suspenseful and romantic novella length stories. All set in exotic locations around the world.
For thirty seven year old recluse Yasmin O’Neil, life feels like one crisis after another. Her husband left her five years ago, she starts to suspect she’s losing her hearing, and then her mother is diagnosed with cancer. When her mother passes away her fortune changes. Yasmin is fifty thousand pounds richer from her mother’s estate. Taking her fate into her own hands after years of being a recluse, she rediscovers herself at a spiritual retreat in Sri Lanka south Asia, before she plans to spend the next six months traveling around the world. In Sri Lanka, Yasmin’s path crosses with Michael Thomas, an army soldier on his own path of self discovery. With their luke warm initial encounter the pair don’t hit it off straight away. After some push and pull the two move from enemies to lovers they are finally on the same page.
In Lover’s Retreat two very different characters originally on different paths, embrace the need for change and companionship in order to live life to its fullest again. Set in the back drop of paradise, palm trees and untouched nature of Sri Lanka, and the Caribbean these two lonely souls gain more than just self discovery they gain a soul mate.
Rosalind Russell is a journalist who worked for more than a decade as a foreign correspondent for Reuters and the Independent in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Her reporting has included the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq and Burma’s Saffron Revolution. She lives in London with her husband and their two daughters. Burma’s Spring is her first book.
Today’s writing prompt for my #90DayChallenge: ‘what’s on your mind right now, what’s happening?’
Well, as I write this rather a lot. I sit here in the early afternoon multitasking, which is even more of the new norm for me since the pandemic. (I shared how much my day and life has changed in a blog post here.) At this moment in time I’m surrounded by school books, pens, paper, pencils, the washing, and the normal content of my kitchen, my son is having lunch and has his nose in his tablet watching a movie. Pretty normal right? But, I’m in a state of shock. On one hand I ask myself should I really be, is there really a surprise here?
The prompt is to just write about whatever’s on your mind, in all honesty I have so much, I don’t even know where to start. I’m sorry if I seem as though I’m rambling. *Sighs*
This morning I got the one call I really hoped that I would never have to answer. A parent who is also a friend, and their child attends the same lovely school as my son called me to say ‘they’ve closed the school.’ I was like, ‘what?’ In a nutshell last night an email circulated, and teachers made contact to let parents know there has been two cases of Covid-19 confirmed. One teacher and one child. Now, no doubt I never got that contact as some of you may recall, I never returned my son to school. I opted to home-school since September. This decision was made after listened to the evidence, news, science, government and still was not sure about the safety of schools reopening. I then spoke to a friend of mine who is a scientist in Brazil. He forwarded research that published that day, confirming that as we know now kids carry the virus with no symptoms etc. It does not mean in any case that they are ‘safe’ and not at risk. After all they could and do transmit it to others.
At the time, I may have been a bit overprotective, but now I so glad I made that choice. Schools have only been open technically half a term- six weeks. Already his school is at risk.
In all honesty, this virus Covid-19 is serious and it makes me so mad when there are people in power, tweeting, ranting, and showing bravado that ‘it’s not that serious’ ‘ I’m immune now I’ve had it’ etc. It’s just rubbish and gives the wrong message about how serious this thing is. It’s kinda really hit home to me today, just how much we must be careful!
After I received that phone call, right when I was in the middle of a math problem with my son LOL I felt like I could not even continue to teach, or focus on it. I had so many questions, who is the child? Who is the teacher? What class was it? Of course, the parent who called me could not give me details. They didn’t even know, the teacher who made contact would not or could not I should say disclose this information. We’re all none the wiser.
Over the course of the morning I’ve been in contact with friends who have older children, they too told me that at their child’s school there have been cases. Even the parent that called me also said, their older child who has just started the secondary school ( high school) phase just September gone, also was sent home last week– one case at their school in their actual class. To add to the fact that the school their younger child attends with my son, is also now closed.
Jessss, does it ever end?, I wondered. As of now, I am really concerned about the state of the world with this pandemic. But happy that I made the decision to home-school as I could. I pray for every parent who reads this or does not even read this, who has a child in school. I send positive energy, there’s a bubble with some kind of protection that surrounds your child as they move through school, mix with other kids, teachers, and members of society that are not part of the family.
All I can say is keep well everyone! Please take this pandemic seriously. I know it’s hard, I know lock-down was even harder and by the looks of it, parts of the UK are under this threat, as are many other parts of the world. Keep your eyes and ears open, do what you can to protect yourself and others. Never feel as though you’re being ‘too scared or over protective’ by making certain decisions, keeping distances, not meeting up etc. I have no doubt many friendships have suffered. But, if people are really any friend of yours they will understand, and care about their safety and yours. make use of the Internet and communicate with cameras etc.
So the question is for me, is there really any surprise that the school has closed? Nope, I guess not when you look at the statistics around the world. And locally where I am. I just never once expected Covid-19’s impact to get so ‘close to home’ the school is literally at the bottom of the road LOL. It’s close! I have no idea what happens after half term, which is coming up. But all I know is looks like home-school is here to stay.
Wherever you are keep well.