Whose story is this, anyway?
Posted by Nicole Forcine
The first version of This Little Whatever was called Sway. Or maybe it was Shimmy. I can’t remember. But it was third person POV, bouncing between Jonathan and Dean’s heads. A lot was different, the ending, the interaction between the two love birds (Jonathan was the king of topping from the bottom, so to speak).
I sat on that version for a while. I changed the ending. I changed side characters, making some more prominent and some vanish all together. All while I was working, a little voice gnawed at my brain, some sense of dissatisfaction that I couldn’t place. And it got louder and louder and louder until, during other round of tweaking the story, I couldn’t ignore it. It was screaming at me.
It was Jonathan. And he was really insisting that this was HIS fucking story. He’s doing the major changes, it’s his ass on the line, it’s his story.
I bawked. Shifting the focus to just Jonathan would erase some good backstory for Dean. He didn’t care.
Well, I’ve rarely been led wrong by listening to that voice in my head (with exceptions: buy me a drink and I’ll tell you of my stint as a ‘phone actress’). So I rewrote the whole damn thing, took out scenes, added new scenes, changed the ending (again!). Hey, limited third person POV is my specialty.
The little bastard still wasn’t satisfied.
I’m not used to writing first person. But with the little bastard in my head, I managed to capture his voice, his cadence, his weird sayings and get the story down just the way he wanted it. Which, to the surprise of no one in my own head, was exactly the way the story should be. I read it again and only had to do some minor tweaking before sending it out. The scenes worked in my head. Dean fit in just fine, which was good, because with Jonathan quieted down, I’ve got another voice screaming in my brain.
A writer’s work is never done.