1. Ozzy
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    Ozzy Member

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    Gone dark

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ozzy, Sep 3, 2015.

    I've been away (from here) for about four and a half months. I've taken a break from writing, mostly because life gets in the way. Just because I'm not actually putting pen to paper, or fingers to keys, doesn't mean the stories of the characters aren't developing. However, now that I'm here, checking out things that others are doing/asking/saying, I'm starting to think about my writing more. Currently, the novel is in first person, but I'm wondering if maybe I could explore the other characters more if I went with third person. That would mean rewriting essentially the entire thing. I could post an excerpt, but I'm also terrified of finding out that it's not a good story, and it's not intriguing. Any thoughts/encouragements/kicks in the butt y'all can give me?
     
  2. Akarevaar
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    Akarevaar Member

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    Third vs first person is really mostly up to personal choice, as well as the type of story you're trying to tell. Action, for example, might work better in third person where as anything with a lot of introspection and emotion might work better in first. Have you considered split POV?
     
  3. Ozzy
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    Ozzy Member

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    I have thought about it, but I can't really focus when I do it that way. I think the biggest problem is that I think of it in third, but thought it would be good to hear it in first
     
  4. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    My own gut feeling is that if you think up your story in third, that's probably how you should write it. What you're doing at the moment is thinking in third, then having to translate your thoughts into first. That's almost like writing in a second language. It can certainly be done, but it's just one more layer of difficulty to overcome.

    If you're just starting out, don't make things hard for yourself. Forget about what other people prefer, and work the way that feels most natural. It will start to feel right pretty soon. And if it feels right, other people will like it too!

    As for re-writing 'the entire thing,' please understand that this is what you'll be doing anyway. Don't become so fond of what you've written that you feel you can't change it. What you want to end up with is a project that is as perfect as you can make it. So you'll need to do a lot of changing, rewriting, re-envisioning and polishing. Don't feel that anything you've written is set in stone. That's the great thing about writing, especially in the modern age of wordprocessors. You can change ANYTHING.

    What you can do here is simply switch to third person and keep writing from where you are just now. You can go back and sort the first person stuff out later. If you find that you actually do prefer first, then you haven't lost anything. Don't be afraid to experiment. There is no risk, unless you delete your original draft then want it back. (DON'T for the love of mike, do that!!! :eek:)

    I would also caution against asking people for opinions of your writing if you're just getting started. Stick to the project and get it either finished or nearly finished before you start showing it around—especially if you have insecurity issues about your ability to write. The only way to build your confidence is to write. Once you're finished with your story, you'll know whether you've got something worth keeping or not. Of course you'll need to edit it, get feedback, fix problems, etc. But you'll be at the stage where you know you CAN write ...because you've just done it. THEN show it around and get feedback for improvement. A few negative remarks won't derail the train at that point.

    You will never find your writing voice if you let people push and pull you in all directions while you're trying to find it. Don't do this, don't do that, etc. Asking for outside approval too soon is a mistake, I think. It makes you self-conscious about how you write, and I can't think of anything that will create writer's block or deaden enthusiam faster than that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2015
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  5. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Exactly, just experiment. What I like to do in case one idea doesn't work is to make alternate versions of the same idea and see which one I like the best. This has really worked well for me, especially since my brain loves to create "what if...?" scenarios for my stories.
     
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  6. Ozzy
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    Ozzy Member

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    I should clarify. When I wrote it the first time (the first draft is on paper, cranked out in two weeks - HORRIBLY rough), I thought of it in first. Now, however, I find myself thinking about what happens when the main character isn't around. I think it could make the entire thing more interesting, if the reader could see what the other people are feeling, though usually, I'm thinking of one particular other person, rather than ALL the other people (does that make sense?).
     
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  7. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I think so. As long as you keep to one POV at a time, and don't head-hop constantly within any particular scene. But having a few POV characters can make the story more interesting to tell, because everybody sees things differently.
     
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