Thursday, June 11, 2009

Taking a Different Tack

I've been writing like gangbusters on my current work in progress, and being very pleased with my progress. However, yesterday it occurred to me that I may need to make a major change.

I've written the story in first person, which I think gives the main character a very strong voice and allows the reader to feel very invested in the story. However, as a writer I'm starting to feel cramped in one person's head. I can only tell the story of what's happening to the main character and reveal the plot as she finds out about it. I'm not able to examine events through the eyes or experiences of any of the other characters.

So I started thinking I may need to revise the story into the third person. I need to be able to reveal some action taking place in locations other than where the main character is, and I need to be able to get inside some of the other characters' heads.

I had an awesome brainstorming session with Hubby last night, who is pretty good with story ideas. It helped to tell the story out loud and rearrange some plot points, examine the action and characters that work and don't work. So today I feel more confident in the story overall, and excited to start the revision.

Thankfully although I'm 21000 words into the story, it's not an insurmountable obstacle. I'll save a copy in first person, just in case, and then begin working on adjusting another copy into third person. Wish me luck!

11 comments:

Angie Ledbetter said...

POV is one of the hardest things, isn't it? I did just the opposite -- wrote in third, revising to first.

You could always use letters/diaries and good dialog to get in others' thoughts. :)

Good luck and congrats on progress. Come enter my caption contest if you get a break.

Ang said...

Wishing you the best of luck. I still have difficulty with POV. Keep us posted.

Haworth said...

could you not use several POV's that intertwine the story, im thinking here something like Philip K Dick's Man in the High Castle or is the story set out in away that you are unable?

Cheryl said...

I love how you're just plowing back into it, another day at work, no big deal. With me, the longer I think of diving back into my former work in progress, the more daunted I feel. How did I even write that much in the first place? I think a complete re-writing is what I need to do.

Good luck!

giddymomof6 said...

I write mainly first and man it IS hard when it comes to being stuck with one character, but I've managed to work with it. Good luck! Love helpful hubbies! Jenni

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Angie has a good idea of using other vehicles like letters to help convey other information. Perhaps choose a random chapter(not the first) rewrite it in third, and see what you think. Maybe another chapter also before you decide. Best of luck.

Glynis said...

Have fun trying and good luck :) I love these challenges that come along to keep us ticking.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Be careful though - if you are in third person limited, you still need to keep the lens focused on the "narrator"

Bill saw the truck coming towards him....

- so Bill still won't know the thoughts of the truckdriver -

if that makes sense

There is omniscient - but I have a personal pet peeve against it - but that's just me personlly! *smiling*

Mostly, have fun with it! :)

Embee said...

Thanks for all the great advice and comments, everyone! It's going to be a fun ride making this change over!

MilesPerHour said...

This makes me lol because last night GF, who is a writer herself, got up 3 times to turn on the light, grab her notebook, and jot down notes. I'm glad I'm just a blogger sometimes.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Congratulations! You've won my found poetry contest! (Email me with your address so I can send your prize, please.) :)