Monday, February 12, 2007

Kickiness and Other New Words

Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop. ~ Lewis Carrol, Alice in Wonderland

That's just what Charity, the hater of all things NaNo did -- and in 35 days to boot! Go congratulate her on finishing the first draft of her latest YA effort, "The Fine Art Of Holding Your Breath" (which is a title I love).

I, on the other hand, have done little the past couple of days. I recently wrote a short story in first person that I thought was a hoot. It was a new kind of voice for me, but I enjoyed writing it and then I enjoyed reading it! Next, I wrote a response to a prompt in my writing group on Friday -- and used first person again. I liked it again.

Lately, I've been going through the drafts of all my novels (there are four) and, though I like them and enjoy the characters, I don't LOVE any of them in the state they are in. The one I've been editing (Camilla) has some stuff that is flat out boring -- and shouldn't be.

I like that kicky new voice. I don't like those old novels. So, what can I do about that? Do I see if one of the novels could be revised "kickily"? Do I write something new (a collective round of groans just sounded from all my writing buddies)? Do I see if I can inject "kickiness" into third person in one or all of those novels?

Fact is, I don't want to write something I don't love after it's done. The only novel I did that with (Liv) had some issues that I'm trying to work through -- and it was less the novel itself than the characters and situation that I loved... though, that would be a big part of the novel, wouldn't it?

So now that I've rambled your ear off, I'm going to go try to kick it up a bit on Camilla. Maybe I'll write in first person for a scene or two and see what it looks like -- I wonder if I could write in first, get that kicky sound in and then switch it back over to third?


See what happens when I sleep in until 4:30 a.m.?

What kind of writing do you prefer - kicky or straight-faced? Third or first POV?


Judy said...

I don't think I got the "humor gene".... once in a while I come up with something, but for the most part I write (and read) straight writing. I wish I did do "funny." I have another writing friend who pretty much only works in first person. She gave me the idea to write the scenes in A God-given Husband I was having trouble with in first-person so I could really see what Abigail was seeing/feeling. It worked, I think.

I think it would be fun to try to write in first person, but I also think it's a lot harder.

Charity said...

Yes, that’s me. The NaNo Hater. I may have to change my blog name to that.

I love your first person POV. I think it’s a great, natural voice for you and really lets your humor shine. That doesn’t mean you should convert everything to it. Play around with it (and the prompts/short stories are great for this) before deciding if you want to do an entire novel in it.

The other thing I do is try to figure out my “ideal” for the book. This is a positive visualization exercise. It’s not meant to make you feel “down” about your writing if you reach exceeds your grasp (like it did for me with GGG). It’s the book equivalent of what would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail line of thought.

Gay said...

Have you read "How to Write a Breakout Novel" (or a title close to that)? I don't subsscribe ot everything in it, but I do think it has a few great prescriptions for reviving an "unkicky" novel... You might peruse it and see it it's got solutions to get you out of drabsville. (I think if you wrote an entire book using all of its ideas, it would read like one of those action thrillers, which is great if that is what you're trying to write. I'm not.)

I thumb through it periodically.


Marianne Arkins said...

Judy, I've seen you funny... your humor gene may just be deepy buried. I'll have to work on you :-)

Charity, you know that as a NaNo freak it's in my job description to give you grief...right? LOL... If I could do my own version of NaNo, I would. I need the group support to get through it. Clearly, you don't! Lucky you.

Gay, I actually worked through "Writing the Breakout Novel" workbook last year on one of my other novels. I do really like much of what The Donald has to say. But to take it scene by scene is a frightening thought -- considering there are 50+ scenes in each novel. Yikes! Still, I may apply it to some of the worst ones and see what happens.

Thanks all!

Tori Lennox said...

I do most of my stuff in first person. It's so much easier for me to be kicky in first person. I'm sure that's not the case for everyone, though.

anno said...

I love writing in first person. Why blog if not for the opportunity to use first person as often as possible? It does seem like more fun, more flexible... but then I also have to say that I haven't been moved to work on a story until I came up with some characters that worked in the third person.

As soon as I write that "I," my identification with a character is absolute. Sometimes that's a good thing... and sometimes not. It's a little scary to think that people might think that the things I write actually happened to me.

For example, I hope you know that the thing with the George Clooney clone never happened.