Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More Insights In Writing From a 1st Person Perspective...


For just about all writers, the choice of voice or perspective to use is always a challenge.  Although many write in the third person voice, there are two options.  Do you do 'limited' where we only know what's going through one characters mind, or do you use the 'omniscient' version where the readers get to know what's going through everyone's mind at the same time, even if the characters are not sharing all their thoughts with each other.

I did the 'limited' third person point of view in my first two novels.  However I kept changing who's head we were inside with each chapter, giving a nice build up and differing points of view.  So in the new novel I'm working on  "The Vampyre Blogs - Coming Home" I wanted to try 1st person perspective, but still do multiple points of view.  So, with my wife's advice, I chose the same method Bram Stoker used to write "Dracula".  He did 1st person from many different points of view by using letters, journal entries, diaries, etc. and it worked.

In my case, I went for blog and e-journal entries to tell my story, as well as some newspaper clippings to help supply background information for the reader.  Now, I know I've said all this before, but I wanted to repeat it for the benefit of anyone who had missed those earlier entries.  What I did not count on was dealing with Present Tense vs. Past Tense in the First Person.


I realized I might have a problem after I started the 2nd draft of the novel and started noticing that some entries were in the past tense, while others were in the present.  Sometimes I kept going back and forth within the same chapter.  So then I had to decide between which one to use.  After careful consideration, I decided past tense made the most sense, since when one is doing a blog entry about an event they are reflecting back on what happened.  It is not happening there and then as they write.

This of course gave me a much larger task of rewriting the 2nd draft. 


However, I have prevailed and am just about done with the 2nd draft.  But now I am growing concerned about another issue.  "Telling" vs. "Showing".  Am I just having my characters 'tell' a story or am I managing to bring my readers into my characters memories so they can 'see' it as it happened?   I'll be going over the entire novel again and after some corrections, send it out to some beta-readers to get their opinions on the piece.  

I never imagined how intricate this particular novel was going to become.  It's been a lot of work, but I'm rather enjoying the challenge.  If I do pull it off correctly, I think my readers will be very pleased and clamoring for more of Nathaniel and company.  But only time will tell.  

Anyway, that's all I have for now.  If anyone has had more experience with these issues I'd love to hear about them.  Please leave comments down below so not only me, but others can learn from your experiences.

Until next time, keep writing.