Wow, when did September kick in? I have been very bad and even neglectful lately, for which I apologise. I haven’t been doing much writing – still waiting on the final critique of Spiritus to come back before I start fixing – so no lessons or thoughts to share. Instead I’ve been catching up on my reading. It was my birthday last month and amongst the exciting new library that I received was a copy of Kingmaker’s Daughter by Philippa Gregory. I’d never read any of her works (although I did go and see The Other Boleyn Girl at the cinema) but it turns out to be incredibly useful to me from a technical perspective.
Kingmaker’s Daughter is written in the present tense, from a first-person perspective, in the voice of a girl growing up and getting involved in a war. Which is pretty handy, given that that’s pretty much how Spiritus is written too. Most importantly, though, is what it doesn’t do. It doesn’t provide much by way of interior dialogue. Finally I fully understand what it is that the raptor has been trying to explain. As a reader, I don’t feel wholly engaged with the character nor am I particularly affected by the build-up of tension, because that crucial emotional keyhole into the action is missing. It’s not easy to explain the lack in words – it’s more a sense of frustration and a slight lack of comprehension. I could never feel that as a reader of Spiritus because, as the writer, I know the emotions behind the words so automatically fill in. But now, having been a reader of a similar problem, I understand why it is a problem.
As of next week I hope to be back on the bandwagon, as the Beta Upgrade begins. Thank you for your patience!