When I originally came up with the story of Shattered Souls, it was Alden’s story.
The first scene I wrote was the one in which Alden soul-shares with Lenzi for the first time. When writing it, I realized that the experience was so different for each, it was necessary to switch to Lenzi’s point-of view for the second half of the chapter. The book was completed this way: alternating between Alden and Lenzi in third person.
My agent and I revised a few times and then sent it out to a couple of publishers. The response was that they loved the story, but didn’t connect with Lenzi.
After a lot of angst and deep discussion, my agent and I decided that the only way to really get to the core of Lenzi would be to rewrite the book in first person.
I was not a first person point of view fan at the time, so this was a huge step for me.
The rewrite from first to third person took twice as long as writing the book in the first place. Many scenes from Alden’s point of view were out of Lenzi’s presence, so I lost huge chunks of the story.
The result of the rewrite was extreme. The story lost some of the cool aspects of Alden’s unusual viewpoint and motivations, but it gained a heart. Lenzi was more approachable and relatable. It was as if I’d put her on a slide under a microscope.
Not only did it work, it sold to one of my dream imprints, so all the grief and work was worth it.
Will I stick to first person? Each story dictates the point of view. My next book from Penguin will be in both first and third person. I’m really excited because it is primarily from a guy’s point of view this time. Another work I have in progress is in third person.
The rewrite of Shattered Souls from third to first person was time consuming and difficult, but it was not a waste in any way. I learned so much from that work. The original third person version really gave me insight into Alden’s character, which I wouldn’t have had were I to have written it from Lenzi’s point of view in the first place.
Thank you so much, Tania, for hosting today’s stop on the Shattered Souls Blog Tour.
About the Author
Mary Lindsey’s debut young adult novel, SHATTERED SOULS, is scheduled for release December 8, 2011 from Philomel/Penguin.
Having received a B.A. in English literature with a minor in drama from the University of Houston, she currently teaches acting to children and teens at a private studio in Houston, Texas.
Mary lives with her husband, three kids, two dogs, her daughter’s pet rats, an Australian Bearded Dragon, and dozens of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches.
She is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette from the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.
About Shattered Souls
A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger
Lenzi hears voices and has visions – gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can’t help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she’s a reincarnated Speaker – someone who can talk to and help lost souls – and that he has been her Protector for centuries.
Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn’t make a decision soon.