Wednesday’s almost flown the coop here in NZ, and all this bashing on about being at the start of the timezone is coming back to bite me today. So before the date ticks over, here’s my WIPpet Wednesday offering and a request for help!
In honour of it being the 1st of May, here is the first paragraph (as it stands) of my current work in progress, The Fall of the Kings. It is told in Josiah’s voice:
Gareth looked at me with such tenderness, I was almost undone. When he reached across the table and grasped my arm, only the iron discipline forged as Overseer prevented me from breaking down and giving my grief full reign. Never mind he was the longest serving of the twelve kings of Gaelladorn, and I the Conscience of the Kingdom. Because of my exalted position no one had as much as patted me on the shoulder since Alyssa died.
Now, if you could see my schedule at the moment you would know I need help on many levels just now. However on the writing side I’ll keep it short and sweet.
When I first started writing Josiah’s story, this paragraph launched me straight into his head. It was the first time I’d ever written in first person, and it appears to be the only way I can write him. Yet as much as I love this character, I’ve had constant feedback that this paragraph makes people immediately assume the POV character is a woman.
Hmm, methinks this is a problem.
Because I’m still a bit precious about this paragraph (I haven’t hit hard edits yet), I tried to get around it by putting Josiah’s name at the start of the paragraph to indicate POV (man, man – but kind of soft lovely man really), and paragraph three alludes to his wife (Alyssa), but I’m really wondering if tenderness is the right word for a couple of old blokes having a moment.
If it were set in NZ, Gareth would just nod sagely and say, “Mate!” in a long slow meaningful drawl…
Is tenderness the problem? Is there a better adjective? A more manly one? I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas or impressions.
A big shout out to my fellow WIPpeteers! We’re very friendly and love company. If you want to join us, just post a section of your Work in Progress that has some correlation to the date (trust me the correlation can be very loose), and click over to this linky to add yourself to the WIPpet crew! Many thanks as always to the lovely K.L. Schwengel for hosting!