Short Blog Today

Also, not one with a good title. We are getting ready to host a cookout for all the contractors, tradesmen, and friends who helped us with our recently-sold flip house, so I just don’t have the brain at the moment to come up with a better title. Also, my daughter is in town, so going to spend some time with her.

Not a lot else has gone on this week. In Tennessee, our loan originator is on vacation, so no news on that front. But we should have a closing date this week, we hope.

What I’ve Been Reading: I enjoyed One Bad Wish so much that I immediately bought the next (and sadly, last) book in her Teenage Fairy Godmother series, Sunspot Magic by Bonnie Elizabeth. I hope she writes more of these – they’re so funny and so much fun!


What I’ve Been Writing: More villains! I finished the Week 4 exercises of Holly Lisle’s How to Write Villains workshop, although I will admit I skipped the last exercise. This one had us writing a villain from his/her/its own point of view, in first person present tense.

I HATE first person present tense. I don’t read it, so I can’t see writing it. The point of that portion of the lesson is this is how to put a reader into a villain’s head, so closely that they are the villain, as things are happening. Thing is, first person present tense doesn’t work that way for all readers. For me, the whole time I’m reading, I’m hyper-aware that I’m not, in fact, there with the character as the story unfolds, so I find it distancing. Which is probably the main reason I don’t like it. If you’re a writer and you write it, I’m not telling that it’s wrong (because it’s not, and you need to write your stories the way they need to be written), I’m just saying that I’m not your reader for that book.

So anyway, back to my workshop – this week, I’m going to shoot for doing four of the eight exercises. I’d normally try for all, but I have a lot going on this weekend so I don’t expect to have time. If I get to anything beyond the first four, that will be a bonus!

What about you–what’s going on in your life right now? Do you have reading preferences when it comes to first person, OR present tense (or both)? How are you doing on whatever goals you’ve been working on, whether writing or otherwise? Please share in the comments–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

9 Responses to \

  1. I’m with you on first-person present tense viewpoint. I cannot get past the knowledge that I am NOT there, I am NOT that person, and I do NOT have those concerns. I have on rare occasions enjoyed a first-person story, but the character voice has to be extremely good.

    In my end of the world, things are getting real! Just a little more than 4 weeks to the launch date of My Soul to Keep. And I’m doing a detailed outline of the next book in the series. Those two things are keeping me pretty busy. I’m also slowly reading Harlan Ellison’s Ellison’s Wonderland and Orson Scott Card’s Invasive Procedures.

    Have a wonderful cookout and a great visit with your daughter!

  2. Woo hoo! Congratulations on the sale of the flip house! You must be so relieved. A cookout sounds nice, especially since your daughter is there.

    I’m fine with any POV as long as the story engages me. I don’t write first person present tense. Just have no desire to give it a shot. Sounds like a great class that you’re taking.

    I hope the loan for the Tennessee property closes soon so you can celebrate that, too. Sounds like things are slowly but surely falling into place for you. Lots of exciting things in your future. Have a great week, Jennette!

  3. Well, I like first person, present tense story telling. Since I read a ton of memoirs, that’s a POV I’m comfortable with. Not that I’m not happy with third person, past tense, especially in fiction.

    I don’t know how you undertake so much and don’t get distracted from your writing. If I’m balancing a lot of different things, it’s hard for me to focus when I do sit down to write. The other tasks keep cropping up in my mind, pressuring me for attention. I read your blog in part to see how on earth you pull it all off!

    Thanks for the comment on my blog. I hope you’ll enjoy Circling Lithuania. The photos give a great sense of the country.

  4. That class sounds like it would be beneficial for me. Where did you hear about it?

    I actually kind of like first person present tense. My very first manuscript was in first person. I’m not sure I could write a villain in first person though. I think that would be kind of creepy.

    Enjoy the BBQ and your daughter.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  5. Lynette Burrows – thanks, and good luck with the upcoming release!

    Lynn, thanks so much! The cookout went well and everyone had a good time.

    Lynette Benton – that’s funny that I seem so busy – I feel like a slacker most of the time! I only put in maybe a half hour or so at a time for writing lately, and I don’t write every day. I do well if it’s five days in a week. And I get distracted constantly, just like you describe!

    Patricia, I heard about the class because I get Holly Lisle’s newsletter. She has so much good info! You can find out more at She has a couple of short freebie workshops that are worthwhile to try her stuff out. And tons of blog posts/articles, and forums.

  6. I’m not sure what I prefer reading in terms of pov, probably whatever i don’t notice, if that makes sense. I’m working on a middle grade novel now and wrote first 2 drafts in 3rd only to switch to first in current draft, because i think it works better. Here’s hoping, ha ha. The front elevation drawing of your new house looks so nice!! Very exciting, look forward to hearing more. Happy writing–and spending time with your daughter!

  7. Hey Jennette! I love that you’re taking a workshop. Maybe that’s what I need to do since my goals have completely been blown out the window since I’m still battling Lyme. That’w why you haven’t seen blogging or visiting you and others. I am attempting to write in third person/present tense and what a trip that’s been. I like Coleen’s idea or writing in third person then transferring it over to present tense so it doesn’t mess with your mind. There are a few writers that I’ve read that write this way and I love how immersed I get into their story. So I thought I’d try my hand at it. We’ll see how that goes. Congrats on your flip house and best wishes on the Tennessee project. I am excited for you! 🙂

  8. Karen, so good to hear from you – and sorry you’re still having health issues. A workshop has been a good way for me to ease back into writing, though I’m not sure how much I’ll get done with all the new house stuff going on. Good luck with your WIP – and thanks for stopping by!