Day three! I don’t think I’ve blogged about this before? Actually, I’ve had quite a lot of angsty moments because of the POV question – the story is told from a very traditional, 1st person perspective, with my protagonist telling his own story in the past tense. Earlier this year, I had the idea that it might be better to tell the story from 3rd person POV instead, but in the end I decided that 1st person does have its perks (and that my real problem was that I used the word “I” far too much). It can be tiring to write a novel from a 1st person POV – it limits your options, and you have to make your protagonist overhear a lot of conversations to make him realise what’s going on around him… (well, at least I do 😉 ) And just as it is with actual people, characters have their flaws and after spending thousands of hours writing from that one person’s perspective, you can grow a little tired of them. I’ve solved this by writing short stories, where I can explore my world from the POV of other characters, where I can write about Chris in 3rd person or present tense or whatever I might fancy. After doing a few of those, going back to 1st person feels fresh and interesting again.
My writing style, I’d say, is very, very occasionally poetic but most of the time just efficient, lots of dialogue and actions to move everything forward. Since it’s supposed to be a romantic/sexy (I cringe just writing this but… yeah) story, there’s also a lot of focus on appearances. Not saying that you need to know someone’s eye colour to find them attractive. But yes, dialogue is definitely the key, I think.
I’ve written about this before, but it’s a subject I always tend to come back to. Basically, you could say that Wavesongs is a gay historical fiction novel with a touch of romance, I guess. The gay theme is rather significant – there are subplots that have nothing to do with romance but the main thing about this trilogy is my main character’s transition from a clueless country lad with a completely repressed sexuality, to a man who lives and loves and comes to terms with what he actually wants from life. It also focuses a lot on relationships in general – family bonds, friendships. All in all, it is a very character-driven story. Lots of feelings, many a dramatic backstory and much sexual tension.
I don’t know how satisfying this explanation was but I tried…
So, time for the first challenge. Today it’s about the name of my project, which is Wavesongs (literal translation of Vågsånger, but it actually works pretty well in both languages). In the very beginning, the working title of the book was, actually, The Captain’s Boy. Which isn’t neither subtle nor poetic – it’s just what the story’s about, basically. But I always felt that it didn’t sound quite right and that it was too cheesy, also it covered just one aspect of the story, albeit the main one. So I thought about it a lot and didn’t come up with anything good, but then it dawned on me that it was supposed to be called Wavesongs. For me, it’s a good name for the novel, and also for the entire trilogy, because it sort of captures the romantic theme without being too sugary, and the meaning of it is, really, “stories of the sea”. The plot wouldn’t even exist without my main character’s dream of becoming a sailor, life at sea is a crucial part of the story even though I’d say it’s almost a euphemism for what actually drives Chris from his native village – his desire to find love, a kind of love that isn’t even recognised in his society and that he wouldn’t be able to find anywhere but outside of that society. The song of the waves is mentioned in one passage of the novel, when Chris is on the verge of falling asleep in bed next to the Captain, the man who has showed him that love exists, even for men like them. It’s the sound of freedom, and being so painfully close to another human being, and ultimately about being yourself.
Dagens bokfynd, The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy av Sam Maggs. En bok om allt som har med fangirlande att göra. Något säger mig att jag kommer känna igen mig en hel del… 😉