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Guest Post: Six Degrees of Lost by Linda Benson

Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Musa Publishing, 292 pages
Release Date: July 15, 2012
PurchaseAmazon | B&N | Musa Publishing
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Sometimes you have to take a journey to find out where you really belong.
Olive’s mother is headed to jail and her brother to join the Army, so thirteen-year-old Olive is uprooted from sunny California and dumped in Washington State like a stray. That's exactly what she feels like surrounded by her aunt’s collection of homeless dogs, cats, and horses.
Fourteen-year-old David’s future is already carved in stone. From a military family with two brothers serving overseas, he’s been pointed towards the Air Force Academy his entire life - but a rafting trip gone awry might ruin his chances.
When a runaway dog is almost hit by a car, the search for its owner leads Olive and David, two teens from entirely different backgrounds, to an unlikely bond. Will their growing attraction to each other be enough to keep Olive from a foolhardy journey to find her mother? Will David risk his family’s plans to save her?

Point of Views

As a writer, one of the things I try to do with each novel is to push myself to improve. Attempting new things is one way to do this. And trying to write in different Point of Views (POV) is a great way to understand how novels work, as well as how the reader perceives the story.

One common POV used in stories is third-person. Three of my novels, including the young adult novel THE GIRL WHO REMEMBERED HORSES, are written in third-person limited, which is in one person’s perspective, and told in the past tense. Alice felt the forest unfold around her. She darted quickly through the trees as her pursuer advanced. She shivered.

I could also tell this in first-person past tense, getting inside Alice’s head even closer. I felt the forest unfold around me. I darted quickly through the trees as my pursuer advanced. I shivered.

Another common POV, especially in Young Adult literature, is first-person present tense. This brings it closer yet. I feel the forest unfold around me. I dart quickly through the trees as my pursuers advance. I shiver.

When I started writing my brand new novel SIX DEGREES OF LOST, there were two characters who were speaking to me – Olive and David. Because I wanted to try something new, I let them both tell the story, in first-person present tense, and they alternate chapters.

I had fun with this, not only because it was a challenge, but because it allowed me to get close to both of my characters (and they both have their own set of problems they’re dealing with.) I was also able to portray the tangled up emotions of two teens, who each have a crush on the other but often misinterpret signals from the opposite sex. In the end, David and Olive’s friendship becomes even closer, and they end up taking a journey as their lives and problems collide.

During much of the story though, things between Olive and David are a jumble and a patchwork of feelings. That’s what I felt like as I was working on this manuscript. Trying to get the narrative to move forward while jumping from one character’s story to another was sometimes like putting together a jig-saw puzzle, but in the end, I think it turned out well. I hope that you enjoy it too, and that you’ll read SIX DEGREES OF LOST and let me know what you think.


Linda Benson
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Linda Benson has written several young adult and middle grade books, including The Girl Who Remembered Horses, Finding Chance, The Horse Jar, and a brand new novel called Six Degrees of Lost. Her passion for nature and animals often finds its way into her writing. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and a variety of animals, and is hard at work on her next book.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for hosting me, Vy. It's always fun, when your novel is finished, to go back and revisit the beginnings, and remembered the actual writing process. In this case, I didn't have much choice - Olive and David BOTH wanted to tell their side of the story. ;-) And they did.

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