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Writing space…

Last week, I rambled about point of view, and the tendency for people to be fairly rude online.  Monday evening was spent on Chapter 1, switching my POV from first to third.  It was easy enough, in spite of a wonky mouse but as I went along I realized that I really hate the beginning of this story.  I’ve changed it around ten or twenty times already and so far nothing is making me happy.  I moved a major event up in the story, which is a good thing but now I am still trying to cram the same amount of stuff into a smaller space.  It’s not working.

Needless to say I am once again reworking the beginning and therefore, I am not any farther in my revisions.  I am going to chalk this up to progress though.  This process is definitely moving me forward and I can’t really complain because right now any progress is ten times more than a few weeks ago.

So, today while I was trying to streamline things and work on a new outline, I straightened out my writing space.  It’s a fair assumption that sometimes I clean my desk as a delay tactic.  I mean back in college the only time I would really clean out my closet was when finals rolled around.  When you think about it, that’s pretty good for a college student to clean out the closet twice a year.  Anyhow, I feel that having a clean, organized space is often conducive to getting work done.  I figured as I sorted papers and put things away that I could let stuff roll around in the back of my head and maybe come out the other end with some good ideas.

My desk is fairly good at multitasking, writing space, household management, drop off point for random items from around the house, and of course, the gateway to most of my internet activities.  Needless to say my desk gets overrun with detritus of various origins and periodically I have to clear everything off and start over.  Today was just a minor search and seizure sort of cleaning but the pictures below are from the last major overhaul.

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I built this desk about eight years ago.  It looks really cluttered but this is how it looks when it’s clean.  Honest.  That’s Jericho snoozing on the corner.

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I built the bookcase a little after the desk and  modified it last year.  I made room by removing the middle shelf and added some dry erase and magnetic boards to keep some of my visual inspiration close at hand. 

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This closeup picture is a bit blurry but you get the general gist of how I am using the boards.

The colored folders on the right hold my main notes for the different stories in the series that I am working on now.  I’ll check to see if I’ve posted about them before, either way I will follow up with a link to the previous post or in a future post.  

The stack of books on the left are various books resources on writing, I’ve even read some of them.

I have clipboards hanging on the inside of either end where I have other notes like character descriptions, maps, floorplans and other various information.

I got this set up last year but then ultimately stalled on my revisions.  As I work on the new outline, I plan on doing more with the boards to keep me on top of everything.

I think next week I will post about some online tools that I have found to be helpful.

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Point of view…

A couple of months ago an author on Facebook posted that she was thinking about writing a future book in the First person point of view and asked for opinions on the idea.   I learned a couple of things from the comments that followed.

The most important is that, wow, people are rude in their bluntness.  I know that I shouldn’t be surprised but it amazes me that people are so up front about being rude.  These aren’t direct quotes just the general sentiment that I remember reading a few months ago.

– Yuck!  I’d never read it.

– I hate books like that.

– I put books back if I pick it up and it starts out with ‘I’.

…and my personal favorite

– I’ll never read your books again if you do this.

The second thing I learned is that some people like first person and third person equally, some favor third person but are okay with first and those that dislike first person seem to really hate it.   I was really surprised by this, I’d never heard that people disliked that point of view.   Well, actually I remember a gal that I worked with griped about the Stephanie Plum books and the first person POV.  Of course, she griped about everything so I didn’t really take her seriously at the time.

I’ve written my stories in first person for as long as I can remember.   At first, I think it was easier to write because I could put a bit of myself into the character.   When I read books I enjoy that connection with the main character, there’s a certain level of honesty or intimacy that you feel privy too.  That being said, I can’t really ever say that I have disliked reading a book in third person.  I’ve actually stopped reading a book or two that were in first person.  I definitely stopped reading one that had first person point of view but for different characters.  It was a gritty, paranormal sort of story and one point of view was seen through the eyes of an evil entity and it creeped me out.  Every time the point of view shifted  to the shadowy bad guy I’d put the book down and eventually I never went back to it.

I did some research today on advantages and disadvantages of different points of view.  I am seriously thinking about revising my current work in progress from first person to third person.  I’d been having issues with the inner voice parts, as opposed to my dialogue, of which I have too much.  This WIP was written during NaNo so I knew at the time that a lot of the dialogue would get slashed during revisions.  

I think part of my problem with this story is that the main character is doing things I’d never do.  Writing from third person may make it easier for me to connect with the characters.  Also, writing from a male point of view would be new to me and possibly increase my investment in these characters.  I’d love to revive the story and get it properly revised.

Here are a few of the articles and blog posts that I read today, in no particular order.

WHAT POINT OF VIEW SHOULD YOU USE IN YOUR NOVEL? 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of writing in first person?

Writing in First Person

First or Third Person: Which Point of View Is Best?