Tuesday, 14 August 2018

#Writing tip #Multiple POVs

Tuesday greetings to you!

I'm out guest posting at my Crooked Cat friend Angela Wren's blog where it's always so lovely to pop over to visit her in France. Sometimes when I've visited, I've given an update of my writing journey but today my post is sharing a technique I find helpful when creating my novels with multiple characters and subsequently multiple points if view (POV).

You'll find the whole post at Angela Wren's Blog HERE.

But since it's a tip that might be useful to others only popping into this blog I'm REBLOGGING part of it below.

"Just after The Beltane Choice was published, a reviewer asked when the sequel would be published. I was stunned! I hadn’t considered a sequel, or even a series for that matter. However, I’d given secondary character Brennus of Garrigill a raw deal in The Beltane Choice. He then became the focus of Books 2 and 3 of my Celtic Fervour Series since his story is a convoluted and fairly long one. Across Books 2 and 3, Brennus is joined by two other main characters: fellow-Brigante Ineda; and an Ancient Roman officer named Gaius Livanus Valerius (Ineda’s captor). Leila is a strong secondary character in Book 4, but I decided three POVs were enough to handle, so her part in the tale is told via the POV of Brennus.

As I wrote Books 2 and 3, I needed to come up with something that saved me from confusing the POVs.
Ø      One simple strategy was to use the common tactic of having one character’s POV last for a complete scene, or a complete chapter.
Ø      A second, and it’s probably not original – I used a different colour of font for each character throughout the typing of the manuscript.
Seeing each chapter in a particular colour also meant that when I minimised the pages to a 10% or 25% view, I could see how the balance of viewpoints was going across the whole story.

From that point forward, my manuscript writing life has been one of COLOUR.  

Agricola’s Bane, Book 4 of the series, is told across five different viewpoints. My Garrigill clan members Nith and Enya are balanced by the main character of General Agricola, Commander of the Roman legions. Two other Garrigill clan members, Ruoridh and Beathan, play smaller though still main character roles. I’ve used five different font colours in my manuscript which have hopefully kept me straight regarding the consistency of POV as I created the story. I’m now eagerly awaiting editor feedback on how those five viewpoints have worked out. Look out for Book 4 being published soon with Ocelot Press.

Book 5 is on the drawing table and regardless of the amount of main characters in it I’ll be using different font colours to keep my POV straight!

 My POV tip is a simple one, but perhaps the readers of this blog can suggest other useful techniques? 


Sunday, 12 August 2018

#FREE Promotionl alert!

Sunday 12th -Tuesday 14th August 2018

I chose these few days thinking it would be an appropriate Summer Special for anyone who hasn't yet read Book 1 of my Celtic Fervour Series. Presently it's raining outside, but since we've had hardly any rain this summer I'm not complaining at all. 

You can pick up a #FREE copy of The Beltane Choice from Amazon during the coming days. Just click the link HERE and start reading your copy. 

If you enjoy the read it would be really excellent if you could write a short review on Amazon. A couple of sentences are sufficient. Thank you!



Author #Speaking #Opportunities

Sunday Update

Ballater Royal Deeside Scotland
My Saturday was taken up with manning my table at the FOCUS Craft Fair in Ballater, Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire.  

It was the end of Victoria Week in Ballater and the town’s Highland Games had been held the previous Thursday so the town was fairly hopping with tourists, many of whom wandered in to the Victoria Hall to our Fair. Some only browsed and many of them bought but for me the best parts of the day were the conversations.

Some of my conversations can be lengthy, the browsers only milking my knowledge after which they wander off without buying. Others are really interested in what I can tell them about Roman Scotland and they head off with at least the first book in the series, sometimes more.

One really good aspect of the unplanned conversations is when I gain a booking for an author presentation or talk. Saturday was a fabulous day for that! I now have a firm booking to speak to a ‘History’ group, members of what they call the U3A- University of the Third Age - aka pensioners having fun. This group meet in Turriff which isn’t too far for me to drive and I have the feeling that I may learn as much from them as they learn from me. Hopefully the lady organiser can have the event organised by late Sept or early Oct. They generally use a small room at the local library but for my attendance she intends to make it more public with the librarians widening the audience to all comers. I’m really looking forward to more details and to attending.

As well as the above, I was also engaged in conversation with a lady who works in an independent bookstore in Grantown-On-Spey. The owner is hoisting a Historical Fiction Festival in early Sept. and I was asked if I’d be interested in conducting some sort of workshop with younger readers. This is more likely to be a 2019 event since this Sept looms! Again, I’m game to try many things.  

A third opportunity as a result of my conversations is that the local librarian is going to try to ensure that current versions of my novels are stocked in the Aberdeenshire Library system. 'Result!' As people are wont to say these days. 

A great day for me and the icing on the cake was also to have a lovely conversation with two of my ex-pupils that I’ve not seen for decades. One is 30 today and I taught her as a Primary Seven pupil back in 2000. Her parting words were amazing- she said I was a fun teacher to have when back then when the history topic was WW2!  

I hope your day is/was a great one.