Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Difficulty in Switching Gears and Permitted Revelations

Meaning - the last two or three projects I worked on over the past five years have been in first person. Before I started the BSW revision, I waffled between first and third person and finally decided the novel would be stronger in third. And then I discovered how much out of practice I've fallen.

I really felt rusty and stiff... and it really caught me by surprise. I write a very close third person, so there isn't a HUGE difference between 1st and 3rd - or there shouldn't be. But still I found myself wanting to SCREAM as every paragraph started with the protagonist's name and I struggled to fix the narration so it wasn't so painfully choppy.

It didn't help matters that all of the books I've been reading lately are all in first person.

Only plain old stubborness kept me from switching over to first person - and I'm glad I stuck with it. The writing is finally smoothing out - this four or five months after I started the revisions. *looks sour at the waste of time*

REVELATIONS -

This concerns a short story I wrote two weeks ago. This would be a scifi type short that I REALLY LIKED and wanted to place somewhere. We'll just call it TNMO5A3

I put it up for crit twice, each time pulling it back as I made changes.

Today I saved a copy on my computer and permanently pulled the story from the critting queue. Why?

Because I realized that what I had was not a story. It was the synopsis of one.

I told the reader what happened in as little words as possible (just the facts ma'am). At first this seemed sufficient, until I went browsing a couple magazines and read some other stories which are out there. Dude. TNMO5A3 wasn't anywhere near being finished. I have to sit down and write the story for real, using that 'story' as a glorifed outline - which is what it really was.

Other news -

I wrote 11,000 over the Easter holiday. On Good Friday I stayed up until 4AM writing. The novel has taken an edgier feel than I originally planned. It's a little bit freaky. I kinda told myself to forget about the intended audience right now (even the agents who are the first intended audience). It's important to finish the novel and see it through all of the twists and turns it wants to take.

I'm currently reading -

Marked by PC Cast

*looks embarrassed* Yes, I know everyone else has read these books already. But I haven't <- Because I wasn't sure if I'd like them and I haven't had an opportunity to borrow them until now.

So far I whizzed through five chapters. Fast and interesting reading. The blood lust thing is a turnoff (because I don't really like the smell of blood, etc). I do like the spin on vampirism being sort of like a disease or condition that randomly pops up and scientists are trying to figure out why so they can stop it.

Zoey's stepfather creeps me out, and I'm getting cultist mental images about him. I'm guessing that was the author's intention. It was a barb aimed at FLDS maybe?

Random thought -

If you want to write something that is DIFFERENT from what everyone else is writing. You have to first read widely and so forth, so you know what everyone is writing.

ETA 4/5/10

(currently waiting another day for a brand new adaptor to arrive for my big laptop. Until then I'm stuck with the mini, which just isn't the same. *looks sad* The screen and keyboard feel so cramped in comparision)

Just sharing a paragraph from "Marked" which absolutely cracks me up -

Stevie Ray grinned and blushed. "I want to be a country music star. I mean, Kenny Chesney, Faith Hill, and Shania Twain are all vamps - and that's just three of them. Heck, Garth Brooks grew up right here in Oklahoma and you know he's the biggest vamp of them all. So I don't see why I can't be one too."


I'm thinking about buying this book when I'm done for that paragraph alone. The mental images!

This line too:

Well I guess being the next Nicole Kidman wouldn't be bad (not that I plan on marrying and then divorcing a manic short guy).


*IS READING BOOK WITH WIDE SMILE ON FACE*

All right... the smile drooped into a disapproving wrinkle when I saw the guy's name. Erik NIGHT? Really?

Judging by her inability to think around this guy... were I in her position I'd go all Edward, stew furiously, and then pay a visit to the admins to beg for a switch. Because being in a class with him reciting and speaking the lines DIRECTLY TO ME would be just too intolerable! :)

"Uh, by the way, I like what you changed your name to. Night is a cool last name," I said, trying to hold up my end of the conversation and say something insightful."


Hmph. I sense the authors trying to make excuses for naming the main vamp-guy character something so horribly cliche.

(side note, I'm wondering if I should be alarmed at the explosive sounds my washer is making. It sounds like a train. And I'm not the only one raising my head and twitching. Neurotic dog is edging closer to his hiding spot in closet)

12:30 AM - Finished reading "Marked". Definitely do want to read the next one now. Great read. :)

5 comments:

  1. I read the first two books by PC Cast and loved the first person narration. So smooth and effortless but still humorous. And my new wip has been taking a different tone then I originally thought it would. Not sure what to do about it. I'll keep going for now.

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  2. I'm looking forward to finishing the book tonight after work. I read through CH7 last night and it was interesting to see the different twists that the author used on the vamp legends. And yeah - smooth and effortless writing. I really like it.

    Isn't it fun when wips change like that on you? Especially if it is a story which you thought you had planned out and knew everything about. :)

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  3. 11,000 words over the Easter holiday? You go, girl! I've never read any books by PC Cast but that sounds interesting. I'm not a big fan of the whole paranormal/werewolf/vampire/goblin/etc thing. Great thought on writing something different. I don't get the people who like writing but hate to read. It's a requirement of every writer to read voraciously - how else to become a better writer?

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  4. Heheh - that 11,000 word thing usually doesn't happen on vacations. Ordinarily, I'm blessed if I can type ten words while everyone's home and there are places to go and people to see... I paid for all of that middle-of-the-night writing this morning though, as I woke up 1.5 hours after my alarm went off. I crept into work like Bob Cratchett on the day after Christmas. :)

    @parnormal plots - I tend to be finicky. I'll read things with vampires, but I get bored very easy if it is the same vampire hunter hunting down vampires and falling in love with the one good vampire who is conflicted and angsty about his undead life and whether he wants to eat or love the girl. It has to be different and fresh for me to keep reading with a smile on my face.

    @writing/reading - yep. Same here. I think there are two kinds of storytellers - the verbal kinds (who need to listen and absorb stories by ear before they learn how to cast the same spell over their listeners) and there are the kinds like me who deal best with the written word. I love looking at a well formed passage from a story. It is an art form - and one you learn best by observing the work of others.

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  5. I liked the first couple of the books in the House of Night series, and then the character's... ahem... relationship morals started to bug me just a little. >.< I can't remember which one had the X-Men references, but those made me laugh aloud. (I'm a nutty x-fan.)

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