Not In the Plans suddenly has a double-meaning. It is the working title of a manuscript I started writing awhile back, but it also describes the current state of affairs of said manuscript. Some interesting things have been happening since I posted the two chapters I’ve written of Not In the Plans, suggesting things that were, well, not in the plans.
I started Not In the Plans about six months ago and then abandoned it after just two chapters. I’ve had some thoughts of going back to it once I finish Back to Me, but no strong feelings one way or another. So, I decided to throw out what I had for the first two chapters and see what people had to say.
Imagine my surprise when I checked my blog stats yesterday and today and the most read post (of this blog’s short life) turned out to be Not in the Plans (Jackson Calhoun). This is where Interesting Tidbit #1 comes into play. Jackson’s story is supposed to be Chapter 2 of Not In the Plans. The first chapter was posted the day before and is from Savannah “Savvy” Davis’ point of view. Interesting Tidbit #1: Jackson’s post has been read 3x as much as Savvy’s. This is despite my warnings at the top of Jackson’s post that his story begins after Savvy’s and that hers should be read first.
Interesting Tidbit #2 popped up on Twitter. A follower (a male follower, I might add) suggested that Jackson’s chapter come first, before Savvy’s. He went on to suggest that the whole book be from Jackson’s point of view perhaps. Maybe even make Melanie Clark into Melanie Calhoun, Jackson and Savvy’s daughter. I smell a soap opera brewing.
I don’t foresee making Melanie the daughter of Jackson and Savvy, but the rest is intersting. I got an email from a friend who reads the site who also suggested that Jackson’s chapter come first. So, now I’m thinking, maybe that’s the way to go. Part of the reason I lost steam on Not In the Plans was that several people from a writing group hated Savvy so much they said they wouldn’t read the whole book. I wonder if they’d feel differently if Jackson’s chapter becomes the first, that way the reader sees Savvy through his eyes first.
As for telling the whole story from Jackson’s point of view, I’m not sure about that one. I don’t think I’ve ever read fiction told entire from a male’s point of view where the story was about a male-female relationship. So, I wanted to throw it out to anyone who’d like to chime in: have you read fiction told entire from a male point of view that was about a male-female relationship? If so, did you like it?
Honestly, I don’t think I can write an entire novel from Jackson’s point of view. In fact, Not In the Plans is the only manuscript I’ve worked on that I haven’t written in first person. I liked the idea of telling the story from both Jackson and Savvy’s point of view.
Would love to hear feedback on the male point of view issue and whether you agree that Jackson’s chapter should come first. I’d especially love to hear from those of you who read Jackson’s chapter and didn’t read Savvy’s at all – why? I know you’re out there; I can see the click counts!
Maybe I’ll write a full manuscript for Not In the Plans after all….
**Update (7/18/10): I have decided to flip Jackson and Savvy’s chapters. Thank you to everyone who commented on this on Twitter, Facebook and here! Also, a big thanks to Inside the Book for linking over to Not In the Plans. Inside the Book has a tremendous book (on baseball, if you’re interested) and has been a huge supporter of my efforts on my other blog, It’s a Swing and a Miss. Their post has driven over 500 unique visitors here in a 3-day period, many of whom have given me some great perspective as male readers.