1. starlingarcher
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    starlingarcher New Member

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    Style opinions

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by starlingarcher, Jun 29, 2013.

    Okay, so I would LOVE some other opinions here.
    I've been writing in my own style for so long, that it sounds great to me, but I want to make sure it flows for other readers as well.

    First of all, I've been writing a chick lit novel in first person, which I know is pretty much going against the grain. It's basically an entire novel done in internal monologue -- Does anyone feel like this could be something readable and interesting, or is it really better to go third person?

    Even if I do end up changing to third person, I would still want to incorporate a lot of internal monologue from the MC. Personally, I like to know what the character's actually thinking. But I don't want it to reach the point of being annoying or whiny.

    Secondly, because it basically follows a woman's thought process throughout this period of her life, there are abrupt stops, half-sentences, etc.

    Example (non-dialogue): No. Absolutely not. I wouldn’t even consider it. Okay… I’d consider it. But I sure as hell wasn’t going to do it.
    Example (non-dialogue): I was stupid. Incredibly freaking stupid. Not for the first time in my life. Sadly, probably not for the last time, either. I was an idiot!

    Again, is it something that works depending on the context, or is it just annoying?
     
  2. blackstar21595
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    blackstar21595 Contributing Member

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    From what I gather you're wondering if you should use 1st or 3rd person POV and how to show thoughts. The first matter is an arbitary one since there are strengths and weaknesses to each POV and you, the author, have to determine which is better based on those pros and cons. On the second matter, the thought itself could use work because it's " No. Absolutely not. I wouldn’t even consider it. Okay… I’d consider it. But I sure as hell wasn’t going to do it." You can delve so much deeper into this character's thoughts in the first person. Instead of saying something like "I was angry at dog. Very angry. It will infuriate me forever."
    You can do something like

    Using pauses/periods can be good or bad depending on how you use them.

    And I'm not sure how an entire novel done with only narration would be like. You think there'd be some dialogue too.
     
  3. heal41hp
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    heal41hp Contributing Member

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    As forewarning, I'm not sure what "chick lit" is unless it's romance. I am also not sure why this is "against the grain". I will forge ahead now that you have that knowledge.

    This looks like pretty standard first-person stuff. I just have to join blackstar21595 in hoping there's some dialogue and also some action. I'm not sure this could survive as purely internal monologue, but of course I don't know your story. There needs to be interaction with the setting and other characters otherwise this is just a giant monologue. And that could work, depending on how you approach it and what you're doing with it, but it seems like a tricky prospect with what little I know so far.
     
  4. The Peanut Monster
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    The Peanut Monster Senior Member

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    Interesting idea; I'm also interested to hear more about what chick lit is!

    With all first person, the reader will have to feel connected to the narrator for them to get anything out of the book. That doesn't mean they need to like them, but they do have to be able to connect or empathise, so that they are happy to be drawn into the thoughts of the MC. I think this might apply more so when it is predominantly internal dialogue. I often ask when I'm reading first person "Why do I care about this character? Why are their thoughts important to me? Do I want to know what they are thinking about this situation?". It really depends on how much care you put into developing an interesting character that people want to read about!

    Also, and this is just a preference thing, too many short sentences tend to irk me. I like it when they break up longer passages, but I find over use hard to read. Not sure if others might feel the same way. As with the other posters, I agree that if this breaks up action scenes or dialogue, it could work well.

    Then again, I'm probably not the target audience for "chick lit" so you can take all of this with a grain of salt, hehe.
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    First of all, my eyebrows shot skyward with "an entire novel done in internal monologue". That might be rather daunting to read, as might be an entire novel done in any single literary device. Is there a particular reason why you thought this would be the best way to tell your story? I ask, not as a challenge but out of curiosity.

    As for the question of 1st v 3rd person, each has advantages and disadvantages. 1st person feels a little closer to the character, but makes POV changes extremely awkward. Moreover, the narrator is sometimes regarded as less credible because, depending on the story, (s)he might have reason not to tell the whole truth. OTOH, in one of my novel attempts, I wrote it in 1st person specifically because I wanted to hide a key fact from the reader until the very end, because it was something that would not have occurred to the character. Much of what writers like about 1st person can be achieved through the use of 3rd person limited, which also facilitates POV changes within the story. So, you may want to consider that.

    I do this with 3rd person limited frequently.

    Yes, it works in certain contexts, but I would use it very sparingly. And I would avoid being repetitive within the same thought, a la your second example.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    My protagonist narrates in first person POV, past tense with present tense internal dialoge that matches the present tense spoken dialogue. It's a little tricky when narration blurs with internal dialogue. I know there's more I'm going to have to clean up by the time I get to a professional editor, but I want to keep to this style.

    I don't see a problem with the POV as you describe. You'll have to decide if you are going for present or past tense narration. I see a lot of 1st person present tense in my writer's group. Seems to be a current fad.
     
  7. rachyroo
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    rachyroo New Member

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    Um, hello - Bridget Jones? Only one of the top rated chick lits of all time!

    If it makes it sound more original this can only be good, surely?
     

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