Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pass Me a Weider's

I am stuck at the point where the pixels meet the LCD. The past few days have been a struggle with point of view while trying not to funnel the frustration of difficult drafts into pointless arguments about stereotyping, censorship, or Chick Lit. These are related issues--classification for control and protection and depending on a similarity of POV--but they aren't germane to the tangle of the drafts before me.

Instead, I find myself thinking of the Garrett novels by Glen Cook. Garrett is the voice in my head when I think about successful first person narration. He's the archetypal met-in-a-bar-and-told-this-unbelievable-but-true-anecdote and that is what I consider the epitome of this kind of narration. First person, to me, is about beguiling strangers, or telling truths just a nanosecond before the opportunity is gone forever, or explaining yourself when caught in a moment of reflection or imminent arrest. It's about having a story that has to be shared right then in it's entirety and that couldn't be told by anyone else but the person telling it.

At this moment, I don't have one of those characters or those voices yapping away at me, wondering when I'm going to stop fooling around on this blog and start listening to the story again.

Then I begin to worry that if I don't hear the characters that clearly, it won't matter which POV I choose because I won't be able to tell the story adequately. In real life, I'm not a catch-your-elbow-in-a-bar-and-chat kind of person. As a writer, I'd rather open a door and let you wonder around at a remove from the characters so that you have a chance to be in the world for a little while and not just in the story. I don't attach a value to one method over the other (or to POV itself); however, I do realize that part of the art is working with the vernacular and habits of the time. Yep, the pretension meter just jumped into the red. Sorry. Guess it's time for that Weider's and then some real work, right?

No comments:

Post a Comment