When I finally settled on one story, I knew, just knew, how it would go. I wanted to write about the dissolution of a marriage where both the husband and wife tell the story in first person. I picked a voice for the man: crisp, short sentences or fragments thereof, limited showing of emotion until the turning point. I loved that brisk male voice.
For the wife, I wanted her to descend into drugs and madness. Long winding sentences tumbling back on each other. Wallowing in grief. Writing from the POV of a mad woman was a challenge and oh so liberating, because I could engage in purple prose under the guise of drugs.
The voices were distinct. No one had difficulty reading the beta copy and determining who was speaking. Trouble was, these were the wrong voices to tell the story. One of my beta readers pointed out that the story would be stronger with a single narrator. Problem was, I couldn't see either Mr. Brisk or Mrs. Rambling Rose carrying the story line.
Another beta reader suggested I sleep on it. I did. And about three in the morning, I sat bolt upright in bed with a voice yelling at me: "It's my story, dammit. Tell it my way." Well, yes ma'am.
That was the voice of a minor character. The mother of the wife, the mother-in-law. Really? This character? No way. But the more I thought about the change, the more I thought, way. Maybe she could carry the narration. I still wanted first person, because I wanted the narrower focus, the ability to delve deeply into emotions.
I played with a couple of chapters. The pieces fit. The story flowed. 90,000 words had to be rewritten in a completely different form. Writing became fun. Watching the new main character shape herself was thrilling. The more I got out of her way, the faster and better the narrative developed.
And thus, Mad Max was born. She was never meant to be a major character. The book was going to be a stand-alone until I changed the POV. Then, I could see a series. Three books later, she's as comfortable as a pair of bunny slippers and an old bathrobe. And yet, I never know what she's going to do next. She could do anything.
I'm broadening her reach. My publisher has a May Mystery Month sale on for ebooks. $.99 each for the three Mad Max books. Join me. Tell me if you like her. Tell me if you don't. What do you have to lose?
Unintended Consequences: https://amzn.to/2HHwttJ
Uncharted Territory: http://amzn.to/20EQMap
Unsafe Haven: http://amzn.to/2suJRKA