Saturday, March 27, 2010

I, She, They, We -- The Difficult Decision that is POV

When you sit down to read a book, the thought of POV (Point of View) rarely crosses your mind. You may note that the story is in 1st or 3rd person as you read, but all in all, it isn't something that becomes central to your focus.

As silly as it sounds, for every story I create, that one decision plagues me every time I sit down to write. I mull it over when I start, make a decision, and then inevitably end up waffling back and forth over whether I chose correctly. It is really annoying.

My general M.O. is as follows: I begin the story in 3rd person POV, as I only have an idea of my character. Other than a vague description and maybe a few personality traits, I don't know enough about them that I feel comfortable writing in their voice. So, I write around 10,000 words and then begin to think that maybe I should have written it in 1st person POV. By this point I know my character better and begin to see that the story may be more interesting if they were the narrator instead of me. I then switch POV to 1st person and resume writing where I left off, all the while realizing that I am going to have to go back eventually and fix the beginning. Another 10,000 to 20,000 words later, I begin to wonder if I had it right the first time and consider switching back to 3rd person POV. And on it goes.

Now, you may wonder if it really makes that much of a difference. In my opinion, it does, hence my indecision. It is true that the POV really doesn't effect the plot. The same circumstances are going to occur regardless. In fact much of the dialogue stays the same as well. But it is the insight from the narrator that differs. It is whether you experience the events through the main character's eyes or a third party's point of view that colors your experience as you read the book. Think about your favorite book. Try to imagine that story if the POV were different. It boggles the mind to think just how different major works of literature would be if the author chose differently.

So that's my struggle. I actually turned the corner with this issue a few months back by writing a story that contained both 1st and 3rd person. I am currently editing that story, so we'll see what happens. Maybe that story will break me out of the POV rut.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Trials and Tribulations of Writing

So, here goes. I am a writer...or at least trying to be. I used to think that I had great skill in writing and that it was only the formulation of ideas where I was lacking. After a year, I've learned that it is definitely the other way around.

I've always known that this is what I wanted to do, I just wasn't sure how to get started. Enter The Creative Minds Collective. I went to my first meeting in January of 2009 just looking for something to do that would get me out of the house for a while a few times a month. I'd never put one word on paper in a creative capacity, but I thought I'd give it a go. A year later, writing is my passion and the ideas seem to flow fast and furious. What I was unprepared for was how difficult it is to put them on paper in a way that is true to the vision in my head. Some days, it is quite a struggle. But, in the end, when you have something to show for all of your hard work, something you created in your mind and was able to put to paper, there isn't a feeling like it. It is totally worth it.

So starts my blog outlining the trials and tribulations of being a writer. It won't be all gloom and doom. I will share the good times as well as the bad times and everything in between. And hopefully, somewhere along the journey, some success stories will emerge. Here's hoping...