Well, I started Scarlet Rose this week. At first, I was going to write the whole book in present tense. But after the ‘prologue of part one’ (for lack of a better term) and got the advice of a friend, I wasn’t so sure. Present tense works well when the story is written in first person, but doesn’t flow as smoothly in third person. Most of my book is told in first person, from Anna West’s pov, but there are several other povs as well which are in third person.
So, at first, I switched everything to past tense, but with Anna thinking in present tense. This mix works fairly well and I might use it. But I had another idea. What if Anna’s view was told first person/present tense, but the rest of the views were told third person/past tense? I’m not sure how well it will flow, but I’m going to give it a go. The worst thing that can happen is that it won’t work and I’ll have to go through and change two chapters of present tense into past tense.
|Anna (picture found on Pinterest)
And now, here is the ‘header for part 1’. There’s got to be a better name for it, but it’s basically a short scene that isn’t a proper chapter, which takes place after the name of each ‘part.’
“She’s ready.” The man straightened from the plethora of flashing screens and ran his fingers through his blond hair as he turned, glancing toward the young lady lying asleep on a padded stretcher.
“The transfer was successful then.” It was a statement, not a question, as the older man adjusted his suit in the shadows of the deep, vault-like door without looking up.
The other answered anyway. “Of course it was successful.” With a wave of his hand, the transparent screens closed, folding into the wall. He rubbed the back of his neck. “The rest we’ll know after she wakes.”
The man in the suit grunted and slowly strode to the polished table holding the subject in the center of the room. “And it will work this time?” he demanded, lightly running his fingers down the girl’s arm.
“Hope hard enough, and it might.” The other’s lip lifted in the slightest of smirks. “Maybe you should even pray.”
“Another mention like that…” Though low, his voice reverberated through the room.
The first man shrugged and began gathering scattered syringes and tumbling them into a leather briefcase. “It will work.”
“It had better –” The older man broke off and swung about as the door crashed open, his hand closing around the butt of his revolver. “Jenson!” he released the gun. “What are you doing? It’s too dangerous and –”
“I haven’t met them yet; it’s fine.” The newcomer waved off the remonstrations as he strode forward, his gaze fixed on the prone figure. “Please tell me you haven’t started yet.”
“With your brother overseeing?” The younger man snorted. “It’s done.” He snapped the briefcase closed.
Jenson swore under his breath and rubbed his thumb and forefinger down his long nose.
“Well?” the suited man questioned, his brow furrowing.
“The captain who styles himself as an interrogator?” The older man’s forehead cleared. “What has he to do with any of this?”
“There’s a rebel Christian he’s trying to find, and apparently she had answers,” Jenson motioned toward the sleeping figure. “And right now, he’s enraged enough that I’d rather face a pack of wild dogs.”
“But he said Anna Drake knew nothing. He cleared her,” the younger man protested.
“Yes, Jasper. Anna Drake,” Jenson retorted without turning. “Only Anna Drake is still in her cell.”
“But…” Jasper was the first to break the tense silence as they all stared at the sleeping figure. “…but she identified herself.”
“In that case it must be true.” Jenson snapped “This girl’s last name isn’t Drake.”
The suited man relaxed in a chair, tenting his fingers and resting his chin lightly on them. Finally he straightened. “So who is she?”
Jenson hesitated and looked down once more at the figure. “You aren’t going to like it.”