Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Author Bites - Kendare Blake on POV

After I read ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, I wanted to gently place it onto the floor and roll around on it like a dog in the grass. YA needs more horror like this. So of course, because I loved it so much, I just HAD to have Kendare stop by and say a few things about this marvelous story she's written. And she agreed! Yay! This little piece was originally written to appear in a Tor newsletter but stuff happened and now I have it. Yay again! Thanks for stopping by, Kendare!

The Girl in the Picture: Perspective choices in Anna Dressed in Blood
Kendare Blake

One of the most frequent questions I’ve been asked since people started reading ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, is, “How did you decide on Cas as the narrator? Why a male point of view?”

I’m not going to touch on the last part. It’s a male point of view because Cas is a boy. But as far as why I decided on Cas, well, the narrator was Cas, because it couldn’t have possibly been Anna. I didn’t know that in the beginning. Everything in the beginning feels magically organic, like the story decides on its own. But think about it: Anna Korlov was once a murder victim, and now is a vengeful ghost, confined to haunt the rooms of her boarded up Victorian. If she had been the narrator, what I would have had is a story better suited to the stage than the page, and it would have been a budget-friendly set design. See, even though it’s Anna’s story, a good deal of the action takes place where she can’t go. All of the things going on that she couldn’t see, like Cas’ plans to thwart her, would have to be told to her, resulting in complete, exposition bog down. Plus, writing through Anna’s eyes, I would have been knuckle deep in steaming entrails. And cracked spines. And torn-off limbs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

By listening instead to Cas’ side of the story, I got a pass to the outside. And I think too, that seeing Anna through someone else’s eyes, someone sympathetic to her situation, really brought out the human side of the murdering, blood-soaked demon. She’s really quite a sympathetic character, despite all the killing and the maiming. But if she had tried to tell me so herself, I don’t think I would have believed her. “What? It’s not you? It’s just the little voices in your head? Sure, yeah, absolutely. (aside) Somebody get me an old priest, and a young priest.”

It seems obvious to me now, looking back, why ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD needed to be told the way that it was. I’m glad that it made the right choice on the first try. Trust me, I’ve had other projects that haven’t. But that is a pain-in-the-butt story for another time.
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