Not In the Plans

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.   

Check out more on Not In the Plans here and the first two chapters in their new order here.

Not in the Plans (Jackson Calhoun)

**Update: I checked my blog stats this morning and far more people have read Jackson’s story than Savvy’s.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that you’re taking the time to read at all.  Really, thank you.  I just want to make sure you know that Savvy’s story is the chapter before Jackson’s.  Believe me, Jackson’s story will make more sense if you read Savvy’s first.  Just a suggestion though, you’re free to do as you wish.  🙂

Check out yesterday’s post before reading this one to get Chapter 1 from Savannah “Savvy” Davis’ point of view.  This is Chapter 2, which is from Jackson Calhoun’s point of view.

When Jackson awoke the next morning, he was prepared to roll over, stroke Savvy’s beautiful hair and apologize for overreacting the night before.  It wasn’t in his nature to hold a grudge.  When he turned, however, Savvy was nowhere to be found. 

Despite being an attorney, Savvy was one of the least confrontational people Jackson had ever met.  She had to play it tough to make it in the predominantly male legal world, but deep down, Jackson knew Savvy simply wanted everyone to like her. 

Savvy had never let him go to bed angry with her.  She always snuck in and quietly slipped into bed and cuddled up next to him.  It was her way of saying sorry.  She hated to fight, but she wasn’t very good at admitting fault either.

Jackson felt his muscles tighten and his fists clinching under the thin cotton sheet.  If Savvy was ok with him going to bed angry, did she care what he thought at all anymore?

Jackson ripped back the sheets went about getting ready for work.  As a manager for his father’s construction business, he awoke a couple of hours before Savvy every morning.  With her long hours, he was often frustrated at their tendency to pass like ships in the night.  This morning he was thankful for it.

Jackson slipped past Savvy on the couch and crossed the condo to the front door.  Savvy wouldn’t be awakened by the alarm all the way in there on the couch.  He should probably wake her so she could move to the bed for a couple of hours or at least move the alarm into the living room.  She’d be furious if she slept in and missed the opportunity to bill some hours at the firm.  With that in mind, and the need to teach her a little lesson, he took extra care to quietly maneuver out the front door. Continue reading “Not in the Plans (Jackson Calhoun)”