I spent last week in Italy and that meant plenty of relaxing and reading time. My holiday book of choice was Here We Lie, by Sophie McKenzie.
It’s a murder mystery that I would thoroughly recommend as it kept me guessing right until the end. This is one of those stories where you think you know what’s going on. You’re following the same trail protagonist, Emily, as she tries to search for the truth, but at the back of your mind, you’re never quite sure. I think it’s her strong belief about who is to blame that helps to also sow that seed of doubt in the reader’s mind.
Emily is on holiday with her fiancé, his son and daughter, her sister, brother and his boyfriend when tragedy strikes. On returning home, Emily is set on finding out what happened, but in doing so uncovers devastating truths and puts her own life in danger.
It’s always inspiring to read a good story, especially just before you are about to embark on a challenge to write your own. This book is written in the present tense and from Emily’s point of view. The manuscript I’ve been working on is written this way too and it’s encouraging to see how it can work so well. I’ve started a new story, following on from my first one and kept this same tense, but somehow it doesn’t feel right this time. I’m around 10,000 words in and thinking about starting it again. Ouch.
That’s not necessarily the right decision when you’re on a 50,000 word in one month challenge, also known as NaNoWriMo, however, there is no point me battling on if it’s not working. My sole reason for doing this challenge was to get book two up and running and there is no point, I feel, in just writing words for the sake of it, words that will come to nothing at the end of this month.
So, I will have a re-think. Tense is everything when it comes to getting the right story across. Where first person present works well for one story, it doesn’t mean it will work for another. That’s a lesson I’m learning right now and it’s good for me to realise that I need to experiment. Hopefully I will come out of this month with something useful to show for it.
Happy Friday and happy writing!