Thursday, June 23, 2005

POVs & motivations

There's an interesting conversation on the HNS discussion list at the moment at first person & third person. I naturally started off SoD in first person, and there were particular reasons why - namely that the narrator was not what he seemed! However, somewhere I have read that first person is what beginners tend to write (and SoD was my first effort), although other comments say it's harder to write, due to the narrow field of vision. In fact, I gave up SoD partly because the crits I got were generally on the negative side and partly because I became certain that I coudn't handle the subject matter. It was beyond my skills (such as they are)

LOTR is happily in third person (the lead wants it that way, and I concur without a qualm), though it's what Mary Gentle calls a 'tight' third, in that the main focus is one character. But I am starting to come up against the restricted view, particularly with one of the characters - interestingly the one I have chosen to do the short story about. I get to explore his motivations further, whereas the main character won't actually know what they are. Currently (in LOTR) I've got the other character doing some exposition, but it's too much, at least in one go, that's for sure. I think I can leak stuff out piecemeal, but the temptation is to go into someone else's head.

Gabriele talks about antagonists and villains in her blog. This got me thinking about nature vs nuture. The lead in LOTR has a brother, who will have had similar influences to the lead as a child, but behaves very differently. He's jealous of his brother. He has a fiery temper, much like his father whom he never knew (dead shortly after the brother was born) I reckon nature has some input here as to how people handle situations. There is an internal influence as well as an external influence.


At 5:23 pm BST, Blogger Diane said...

My Marcie Craig stories are all in the first person, apart from the odd chapter where someone else takes over. My problem was I couldn't get into the character until I did this, and the stories are all narrated by Marcie.

I think beginners naturally go for this option and it is harder than they think. I've not been able to write anything else in the first person, but Marcie certainly has more life than any of my other characters.


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