You’d think it would be easier the second time around.



As some of you may know, I’m at camp right now – in a virtual sense. I’m taking part in CampNaNoWriMo.


I achieved my target of 50,000 words last year in November, and learnt a great deal from the experience.


This time my target is lower and I began this new journey full of excitement. I thought I understood the pitfalls – the areas I needed to avoid.


We’re only on day 5 and already I’m finding excuses not to write. Some of them are valid; I’m moving house in two weeks. Some not so much.


The biggest issue at the moment is POV. I began the first chapter in third person, and then changed my mind and rewrote in first. Now the problem is I like them both for different reasons, and I’m not sure how to proceed. The decision I make will affect the story and how it is told – how the subsequent stories will also be told.


So I’m going to try something a little different in the hope I can gain perspective from my lovely readers. I’ve added two different introductions below, and I’d like your help to decide which route to take.


Here they are:


Option 1


When some people learn the origins of their birth, information that changes the course of their future and makes sense of their past, it fortifies them. It suddenly makes perfect sense, the fact they didn’t belong. There’s a reason they felt so disconnected.


That’s not how it was for me. I’ve never felt like an outsider, never wondered why I didn’t fit in. I assimilate to whatever environment I’m in, and I assimilate quickly.


If I were to feel misplaced at all, one might assume it was due to intellect. Yet I feel a connection to people on a fundamental level, a level that cuts through societal rules or restrictions.


My unpredictability, my direct approach had always been met by acceptance, and for that I’m grateful. Without it I would have been lost in a sea of names and faces.


I’ve lost count of the number of towns we lived in. I’d never been allowed to stay in one place for more than six months. Not because my parents are part of the military or particularly free-spirited. It wasn’t as simple as that.


In truth, I didn’t know what we’d been running from, but as I looked at my father’s face on the monitor in front of me, I knew I was about to discover the truth. The reasons we’d spent our life on the run.


With an unsteady hand, I hit play on the tape and felt the ache spread across my chest. My father had been gone only a few short days and seeing this reminder of him so soon was almost too much to bear.


“My darling, Audrey. If you’re watching this, it means we’ve been compromised, and you don’t have much time.

I wish with all of my heart I could protect you. Believe me when I say, if my keeping you safe has failed, and you’re watching this now, I’m truly sorry for what you are about to face”.




Option 2


“My darling, Audrey. If you’re watching this, it means we’ve been compromised, and you don’t have much time.

I wish with all of my heart I could protect you. Believe me when I say, if my keeping you safe has failed, and you’re watching this now, I’m truly sorry for what you are about to face”.


Audrey looked at the image of her father on the big screen and felt a searing pain cut through her heart. Not because of his words, but the fact he looked so fragile. He could barely hold himself upright and she judged by his sickly pallor that he’d recorded the message only hours before his death.


That knowledge had tears pricking the back of her eyes. She’d always been able to read her father, so she knew his energy was waning. He didn’t even have the strength to edit out the silences. The moments he needed to gather his strength.


When he swore soundly the tears plopped onto her cheeks and ran in a continuous stream down her face. It would have been funny if he hadn’t been in so much pain.


“I’ve had so many opportunities to tell you the truth, opportunities I squandered because of my own cowardice. When we lost your mother, and then years later when I met Ann and we became a family again. I should have told you then. It haunts me knowing how much I failed you. All the hours we spent together, preparing you for this, and not once did I share the truth about your heritage.”


Audrey turned away from the screen so she didn’t have to see him gasping for breath. Despite her confusion, and her desire to finally understand the past he’d kept hidden, it hurt her to see him in pain.




I’d appreciate your feedback. I know I’m the only one who can decide, but it would be useful if you shared your thoughts with me. Maybe then I can move on and focus on the project.


You can either comment in the box below, or vote for your favourite option.


Thanks in advance.



Published by mbarkersimpson

Melissa Barker-Simpson is a multigenre romance author. Her stories are about connection, friendship, and love in all its forms. So whether in a magical setting, an alternative universe, or a world where anything can happen – and often does – there is always an element of romance. Melissa is currently residing in the North of England with her two daughters, and when not writing, is fulfilling her other role as a British Sign Language Interpreter.

5 thoughts on “You’d think it would be easier the second time around.

  1. Thanks, Mishka. That’s useful. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of something we’ve written, even if it no longer fits. That’s one of my weakness, and there are many! I really appreciate the comment and your support.

  2. First off, wow! Whichever POV you end up choosing, this seems like a brilliant story that I would definitely want to read more of.

    It’s a tough choice as both work well but I opted for first-person. Option one just had that little extra nuance of intrigue that gripped me. I’m fascinated too see inside Audrey’s mind so directly.

    Best of luck regardless of your eventual decision 🙂

    1. Thanks, Callum, I’m thrilled you engaged with the character. You’ve answered two questions for me. I’d wondered if the opening scene was gripping enough and if you want to learn more then that’s a really good sign 🙂 I value your feedback, so thanks again.

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