• Fred Charles

Writing Process Diary #1: POV Blues

I woke up this morning with a bad feeling about Ouroboros City Blues (OCB). I don't know why exactly, but something seemed amiss. The good feeling that I had all weekend about the direction of the novel disappeared overnight.

Was I getting cold feet about posting my work online?

Whenever I get close to releasing my work online, I second guess myself. I reread the first three chapters and did some revision, but something felt off.

Was it the story? I didn't think so. Maybe it was the POV. I chose to write the book in the first-person present, a POV and tense. The thought occurred that perhaps I should write it in third-person. I mulled over this for most of the day and headed to Starbucks after work to rewrite a few paragraphs using a new POV.

After writing a few sentences, I knew that it was still wrong. I was heading home, feeling out of sorts. When this happens, the idea of quitting always crosses my mind. This time, I told myself to stop being a baby and fix the damned thing.

I reread the original draft and realized that the main character's voice wasn't strong enough. The main character's voice needed to present in every single sentence since he is telling the story. Also, I needed to do a few things to get in the mood to write this dark story. I changed the mode of my writing app from day to night, so that I could write against a black backdrop. Next, was the music. OCB takes place in a world that resembles New Orleans (NOLA). I originally intended to listen to some NOLA Dixieland jazz while writing this book, but it didn't feel right. I needed some dirty, sleazy music, something heavy. You may not know this, but there's a genre of metal that comes from NOLA called Sludge Metal that includes bands such as Down, Crowbar, and EyeHateGod. Think Black Sabbath, but slower and heavier.

I ditched my old chapters, cued up the EyeHateGod, and suddenly everything fell into place.

Note: My process blog entries are wholly unedited and written spur of the moment. If there's a mistake, move on--I did. Also, if you're thinking about checking out any of the bands listed above, be forewarned, they are as heavy as a 16-ton weight.


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