Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Dude with a View

While I was out doing my laborious cardio exercise nonsense bright and early (10am) today, I was giving some thought to point-of-view.

I started writing my first story when I was 9, and I basically haven't stopped since. Even in the throes of college, when I was hip-deep in books and papers and Japanese homework, I still managed to have a work in progress.

I have huge boxes under my bed, some that have been taped up for years, all containing the scraps of paper and notebooks that I've collected my writing in over the years. When I graduated from high school, I got a laptop, and there began my gradual shift into computer-writing versus hand-writing.

But to the point...when I started writing, I wrote in 3rd person omniscient and stayed that way for years and years. In fact, it wasn't until 2000, when I started working on my first "vampire romance" (before I'd ever even read one myself), that I dabbled in first person POV for the first time.

Now I write almost exclusively in first person. It comes naturally, after all: the protagonists are always fairly young females, similar in demographic to myself, and getting into their heads is quite easy. They all have a different voice, but the feeling is the same, and there's very little struggle for me to actually express their emotions/thoughts/etc.

However, when I started NaNoWriMo '09, I wanted to split perspectives between a male MC and a female MC. I've read books that jump between first-person narratives, but unless you're paying close attention to chapter headers, sometimes those can be confusing. I decided to go ahead and revert back to third-person limited for each POV, and I managed to crank out 65,000 words from these 3 perspectives (a third female was added later.)

Now that I'm starting the Nano concept over again (and let's be serious--I'm really just starting a new book with a few similar ideas), I'm back to square one on perspective. I'd decided to write the thing from a limited 3rd-person male POV, but now that I'm a little over 3,000 words in, it's starting to feel a little forced.

Maybe I should try switching back to first person. The idea of writing from a man's internal POV is a bit intimidating, but I think if this rewrite is going to succeed, I need to do whatever I can to get back into his head and back into the game.

Today's goal: write 2,000 words from first-person perspective.


lisa and laura said...

We started with 3rd person and it was kind of a disaster. We're much more natural in 1st person.

Summer Frey said...

I switched to first person for today's writing, and it's already flowing more easily. The character is coming off completely different, but that's okay too...(I hope.)