On Sideways Rain and Writing

Winter_stormThe winds are howling again today, which means our Internet is out, the power is threatening to call it quits, and the rain is coming at us sideways. I’m not complaining; stormy days without the Internet are perfect for distraction-free writing. Well…if you don’t count fir cones pelting down on the steel roof as distractions.

I’m re-visiting Awakening. This time I’m writing from Jackson Delaney’s perspective. He was one of Emelynn Taylor’s love interests in The Gift. Looking at the same story from another character’s perspective is an interesting exercise. The treatment is referred to as Rashomon, named after a film by the same name directed by Akira Kurosawa.

The Rashomon effect refers to contradictory versions of the same event. I’m taking some liberties with my Rashomon treatment. Jackson’s perspective is not contradictory, and the time frame is not identical, but his version will reveal information neither the reader nor Emelynn would have been privy to when Awakening unfolded. It’s giving me an opportunity to fill out Jackson’s world with the characters and circumstances that motivated his actions in Awakening.

It’s been fun to write from the male perspective for a change, but its a challenge. I’m constantly weighing Jackson’s observations and thoughts for believability. In my experience, men use different and fewer words to describe objects, scents and sounds. Their frame of reference is different. I need those differences to colour Jackson’s voice so that he springs off the page.

Seagulls_playing_in_the_windSpeaking of which, Jackson’s calling, so I must go before we really do lose power. The storm outside isn’t letting up. Each time I look up from the keyboard, another seagull soars past. It looks like they’re playing in the wind, riding it like a roller coaster. At times they hang mid-air as they spread their wings into the force of it. Wish I could fly like that.

Until next time…

Stormy days are perfect for curling up with a book. You can download Awakening in the blink of an eye with one click here.
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About JP McLean

Author of The Gift Legacy, a contemporary thriller with a twist of fantasy that will leave you believing the impossible and wary of the night sky…
This entry was posted in On Writing, The Gift Legacy and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to On Sideways Rain and Writing

  1. Helga Bolleter says:

    Nice post! Your observation re writing from a male perspective is right on. I felt the same challenge when I wrote my first novel, a cold-war story set in the late fifties in Vienna. I recall having to ‘reign in’ how my male character spoke and acted. Once I got the hang of it I actually enjoyed the process of impersonating a man! Hope you get your Internet back soon. I too have seagulls flying by our windows, but over the Fraser River instead of the ocean Nasty weather here too.

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  2. denmaniacs4 says:

    Thoughtful and fun post, Jo-Anne. As for the Rashomon perspective, you have likely read Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet but if not, 4 excellent novels, the first 3 generally about the same events from different points of view. I think it has been a few decades since I read them. Abut time to revisit. Enjoy the weather.

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    • JP McLean says:

      I haven’t read Durrell’s work, so thanks for the lead! Maybe I’ll pick up some tips. Only fog today – no wind, but still good for moody writing. Thanks for dropping by.

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  3. Kevin Brennan posted to his blog on the subject of writing from the opposite perspective while he was writing Occasional Soulmates with a female main character. There was some good discussion generated on both posts. Here’s Adam: http://kevinbrennanbooks.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/painting-adam-gimme-some-male-protagonists-written-by-women/ and Eve: http://kevinbrennanbooks.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/drawing-eve-can-male-authors-write-female-characters/

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  4. olganm says:

    Very interesting idea. I’ve tried it as an exercise before but so far only published a story in Wattpad using it…Must think about it further…:) And I’m pleased you got the internet back

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  5. Sally Rae says:

    Great storm pics!! Your first photo on this post looks like it could be an upcoming book cover perhaps? Happy writing using fewer words and thinking like a man!

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  6. Interesting post. I have known men who can stretch a yarn as well as a woman. It so depends on the personality, huh? Their perspective might be different but then again, I know women who might be thought of as being more like men in the way they talk. A confusing subject at the best of times.

    Like the mood of this post. You must be a writer! 🙂 Have a great year, Jo-Anne. It is so great having you nearby. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Inese Poga Art Gallery says:

    That is tricky to get everything done before the power goes out! Rashomon effect sounds interesting, you have a lot of courage because males and females definitely have distinctive ways of expressing their thoughts, feelings, etc. I’ve seen also men who were much more talkative and multi-verbal than women. It obviously depends on the main “settings” of your character. Good luck!

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