Friday, February 12, 2010

Stick to the Status Quo...

Just like everyone says write what you know, isn't it the same as reading? When you pick up a book do you find yourself flipping through the pages and see how it's written?

I've heard people say they don't read anything in first person, or that they can't connect with the character unless it's written in first person. Some find present tense too distracting, while others are immediately drawn into the story. What about me? I absolutely love first person (that's done well), and present tense really draws me in... most of the time it won't even register with me that it's written in present tense until half way through the story.

This is the dilemma I'm stuck with for my new novel which is currently untitled (I discovered is actually a book series... damn those time travelling mind readers). Should I go with a traditional narrative or use something that readers may not necessarily be accustomed to? Well, in Haven I decided to go with first person present and I've had people try to change it back to past tense while critiquing it... but it works great in present tense.

My new story has two main characters (a brother and sister). One becomes a hero and the other a villain, but they don't know about the other... at the moment I'm trying to figure out how to tell my story. I've narrowed it down to two different narratives.
  1. Alternating first person narratives (using the character name to address who's speaking). I've actually seen this done in several novels so I know it can work.
  2. Or, creating two separate, smaller stories.
I guess I can always use Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe to choose which one to use.

So, how do you decide which narratives to use when creating new stories. Or, are you like me and find it difficult in finding not only how to tell the story, but also from whose perspective?


Anonymous said...

I started with third person, but had different points of view (separated by section or chapter). Then, for some unknown reason, I switched to first person (again using different character's POV chapter by chapter). Now, I write first person, one character's POV. I use past tense. It's just how it comes out.

When I'm reading, I don't necessarily "pay attention," unless I actively think, "Okay. This is third, first, past, or present." Each has its own feel, but I really have no preference. It's the story I'm after. :)

Nice blog!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Cherry! You've won a little something over at my blog! :)

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