Jane & Me
Took me less than two hours to extract 12,000 words, or about 70 pages, all written from a minor character’s POV, from The Paris Notebook. It was so easy, I wondered why I’d stuck the subplot in there in the first place. Truth is, Jane Austen made me do it. I love her stories, the ones that have a couple of romantic subplots that run parallel to the main romance. I love how she ties all the threads together at the end and each couple gets their own Happily Ever After.
I could do worse than to use Jane Austen as a model for romance, but now that I think about it, I realize that in her time, in the early part of the 19th century, close to 200 years ago and almost at the advent of the whole concept of the novel form, they handled POV differently.
Omniscient POV was often employed, and a quick glance through Emma shows that Austen did write scenes from Emma’s POV but she also pulled back into the “all seeing” eye of omniscience to peer into various heads or simply exhort from above. That’s how they rolled in the Regency era.
So, I am learning how to get up to the minute here with contemporary romance. And I am so grateful to the editors and agents who are spending their precious time thinking about how to help me do this and then taking yet more time to write and offer suggestions. However this all turns out, I know I am making my mss. tighter and better reads by getting rid of clutter.