The Process

To switch or not to switch?

Who knew when I started on this writing adventure that I would wind up with little beings who sit on each of my shoulders and whisper into my ears. Not necessarily an angel or devil (though maybe one is the devil, or maybe they both are). My little voices are named Third Person and First Person. The POVs.

I started writing my book listening to Third Person. Her voice came naturally as I envisioned the scenes of my story. It wasn’t really a conscious decision to listen to Third Person, it just happened. For a while Third Person was the only one whispering the story in my ear. She told me the scenes as she saw them, with her views of everyone involved.

Recently though, First Person woke up, yawned and decided to have an opinion. He yanked on my other ear and said, “You know your story would work better if you listened to me.” First Person thinks my story doesn’t have enough feeling. He thinks Third Person is preventing me from making it really connect. He calls Third Person not-so-nice names and tells me to give her the boot.

So I turn to First Person and I say, “But, dude, I’m already 15,000 words into this story.”

And First Person says, “Yes. ONLY 15,000 words. There are 45,000 to go. It’s not too late for me.”

Then Third Person chimes in, “15,000 words, you’ve hardly given me a chance. Keep going. We can be great together.”

Then the two begin to argue and I have to put them in Time Out like I do with my three-year-old son when he whines and talks back.

What to do? What to do? I know this is my first draft and I should not even consider editing at this point. On the other hand, don’t I want to do everything I can to make my story great? It isn’t really editing as much as it is taking a new direction. Will I end up writing two versions of the exact same story? Where is the future version of myself who travels back in time to tell me, “Do it this way. It works.”?

I’m starting to understand all of those quotes I’ve read about writing. The ones that talk about the pain, the blood, the sweat and the tears. And I have a feeling the pain I’m experiencing now is like a little bee sting compared to what may come. No pain, no gain though. Right?


4 thoughts on “To switch or not to switch?

  1. Gotta love those changes that pop up when you’re so far in. 😀 Writing is definitely about blood, sweat, tears, goat sacrifices….uh…I have no idea where that came from. Must be my muse-devil talking naughty again. 😀 😀

  2. Oh my! I’ve been able to relate to so many of your posts as I scrolled down, but I stopped at this one because I am going through this now.

    I started out WIP1 with an experimental chapter. I took one scene, and wrote it first in third person and then in first person. From there, I went on to finish the chapter. Third person won out. I continued writing my WIP1 in third.

    By the time I (painfully) finished, the rough draft, I had a hot mess. In fact, that was my nickname for WIP1 for months, until I decided I didn’t like the negative connotation, and so only refer to it with its working title (Awake) or at worst, neutrally (as WIP1). I was SO burnt out on it (I wrote it as my NaNoWriMo project and continued to add words to it through December) that I didn’t think I’d ever want to look at it again.

    Thankfully, my very kind and patient writing partners told me that they loved the concept, and gave me the encouragement to look at it again. Before I did, I sat down and wrote out a more streamlined synopsis of the WIP. And then realized that with so much going on…that it would be much stronger in first person.

    Sometimes, I still wonder if I should go back to a limited third person POV, especially since I JUST started my rewrites, but then I remember the reasons why I went with first person POV.

    If I didn’t have the pressure of writing 50K words in November, I probably would have taken a moment and wrote in stream of consciousness to get a better handle of my character and the world of my WIP. Of course, it’s that pressure that got me a rough draft in the first place, but anyway, take the time to explore a little bit from your MC(s)’s perspective. Is the MC more introspective with a unique voice that would benefit from 1st POV? Or, do you have a big epic world that would benefit from a 3rd person POV? What kinds of books do YOU connect with better?

    And, this may be challenging to hear, but I had to ask myself this: are you just wondering because at this moment, you’ve hit a point where you have to work through a slow patch, and you’ve begun to wonder if reworking it would make it “easier”? I say that because 10-15K is when I started thinking these thoughts.

    Happy writing to you, and thank you for letting me ramble!

    • I appreciate the rambling! I’ve continued in 3rd Limited. I think part of the problem was that I hadn’t really put a filter on my descriptions and I was almost writing omniscient–not necessarily head jumping or anything, but I was more pulled back. When I brought the POV in closer to my protagonist, I think it works much better. Also, you may be on to something with being at a slow spot and starting to question :). Of course, this means I’ll have some reworking and rewriting to do for some of those beginning scenes, but I suppose that is always the case :).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s