This week has been a bit hectic for me, so you'll have to excuse this bit of a fly-by post. My internet has gone all wonky at home, so I'm literally trying to pound this out before my neighborhood coffee house closes…in forty-five minutes. You'd think that would be plenty of time to blog, wouldn't ya? Not for me. I'm SLOW. J
I've been wracking my brain all day for blog topics and I keep coming back to our serial for some reason. I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed writing this story with Rachel, Claire, and Kristen. Not only have I enjoyed it, but it's helping me stretch my skills a bit. I've never really written in third person…and I've certainly never used this "style" before. I'll explain in a moment, but I just want to say that while the serial started as a lark to fill up our Friday slot, it's turned into something that I'm really LOVING. Each week I look forward to what comes next, and I have a feeling that's only going to intensify as we move further along. YAY serials. J
Anyway…as you've seen, the serial is written mostly in third person. I don't 'do' third, so I'm really getting a kick out of being able to approach a story in a totally different way. If you know my writing, you know that I write in first person. And man, it's a wordy, voice-filled first person with a lot of attitude. Madison's voice literally jumps off the page right from the get go and you either love her or hate her. (Hopefully you feel BIG love. (g)) While my other MC's don't have nearly as much spunk as she does, they do each have a distinct flavor that sets them apart from one another. However, sometimes I grow tired of first… Not because I hate my books or my characters or feel they should be written any other way, but because it somewhat limits my ability to really stretch my writing to a new level.
When you write in first person, you're a bit limited in language. What do I mean by that? Well, you're inside one character's head. You have to use her 'language' and filter everything she sees, hears, smells, says, thinks, etc. through her unique perspective. Writing paragraphs of flowery prose about how the sun is slanting through the window is going to stick out in a first person narrative like a businessman at a Grateful Dead concert. It just doesn't work most times. I know it seems like an easy mode to write in…but honestly it's tough to tackle the same head over and over again and still come up with fresh ways to describe or say things without becoming overly repetitive.
Also, if you write in only one POV, you can very quickly see how this can become a bit limiting. I'm trying to write a mystery told completely from Madison's POV. There's no jumping into other peoples' heads to help the story along…to lay out clues or red herrings. It's a hard chore, to say the least…and yeah, sometimes I wish she would speak to me in third. Alas, she doesn't… LOL. That's okay, though…because for all of the trials, I love Madison and her crazy ass voice.
What I've discovered through the serial is that I really enjoy third person, too. Why? Well, while first person is sort of like being in constant ZOOM IN, ZOOM IN, ZOOM IN CLOSER! mode, third allows you a little more breathing room. The extra space gives you the ability to see some of the big picture items… allows you to play with POV a bit more—you can definitely walk the line when it comes to whose head you're in—and helps give more attention to a scene and all of its players. And in the end, you can get a bit more poetic and flowery if you're so inclined.
Hmmm. Me thinks I will be writing a third person narrative soon… Not giving up on first person, mind. But definitely willing to stretch out in new directions.
What about you? Do you prefer one POV over another?
Until next week (when my internet will be back up), Your Girl Tuesday…OUT.