Thursday, December 9, 2010

Write or Wrote?

Now that I'm finished with my edits and while I wait for the verdict from my editor, I've turned my attention to other projects-namely my short story collection-SHADOW TALES.(But at this point, it seems a more appropriate title might be NEVER ENDING SHADOW TALES.) It's taking me forever to finish this collection, and if truth be told, I'd really planned on it being done last July! To be fair, I suppose I should take into consideration that for most of that time I was writing LOVE LIES BLEEDING and working full time, but still...

So what's the deal? I can write an 84,000 word manuscript, but can't finish a measly 15,000 word story in a relatively short period of time? I discovered something-I'm a quarter of the way into the story and I'm using the wrong point of view. I had been using limited third person, past simple, and it just wasn't working for me. I felt way too removed from the protagonist and I really didn't care that she had all these problems! There wasn't a sense of immediacy for me. Now I've switched, rewritten the first scene (for the third time, I might add) and changed it to first person, present simple. Am I happier with it now? Sort of. I do feel more invested in the problems I'm creating for the protagonist, and the fact that it's in the present does up the tension.

But using this style is definitely out of the box for me. I've written in first person and third person, but never used present simple. (I think that's the proper terminology. I gotta admit, I'm not the brightest bulb in the box when it comes to The Chicago Manual of Style!) This is a whole new challenge for me as a writer. And I am going to keep slogging away at it, even if this story is never read by anyone but me. I figure at the minimum, it will be a good learning experience.

Now I have a question-since so much of my brain power this week has been spent on pondering POV and which tense to use (who says a writer's life isn't exciting?? *g*) I'd like to ask you what you think. As a reader, or as a writer, what style do you prefer? Or does it make a difference to you? (Personally, as a reader, I fall into the latter group. As long as it's a good story, I don't care what POV or tense is used.)

Let me know how you feel-depending on how everyone answers-I might have to go back and change it again!!!

That's all for this week-see you next Thursday.



Sharon S. said...

I don't think I care, but I don't really know the difference between all those POV types you mentioned. Which ever way you wrote the Ophelia and Abby books works for me . If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Won't the story flow better if you are comfortable with how you are writing it? Go with what works for *you. That is my advice as a leading expert in "giving advice on things I know nothing about".

SandyG265 said...

I don't really care about the point of view as long as the story is good.

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin said...

I like the point of view that works for the story. That normally means first or third, not second, but I can think of a few exceptions. {Smile}

As for tense, again it's what works for the story... however, I have trouble convincing present tense first person to work for me as a reader. Part of me tends to wonder how they're able to tell the story while it happens, instead of afterwards. Especially if they're coherent doring the exciting events that tend to happen too quickly to be fully understood at the time. But that's just me. {lop-sided Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin