Today, I want to share with you some suggestions from someone I have been reading, at least some of his blogs and tweets, for quite a while.
Nat Russo writes in his blog several suggestions and helpful advice aimed toward the “younger” writers. By this, I mean those of us who have been actively penning a story with intent to share it, but not very long.
Remember seeing anything about a famous, multiple-published Author, about the reminiscing of actually writing that “New York Times Best Seller”? How the writing of it took 10 years? That makes my almost 4 years seem a little paltry.
So, let us take a look at Nat’s offerings (I have found some really good advice and several helpful suggestions):
Even when one begins writing, the Point Of View comes out first. How is the story to be told? There are many, and even combinations of them are sometimes used for telling the whole story. For, after all, an old cliché is also true: From fact to fiction, “there are (at least) two sides to every story”.
As a beginner, how is one to know, first off, who is telling the story? The protagonist can tell it, for they are the ones who experienced everything you want to write. But other characters had an influence on how things turned out, even the antagonist.
I found, after writing a lot of the Barbarians’ life, in second person POV, that it felt like something had been left out, or glazed over, if you will. My instructor, Kris Franklin, while I worked lessons for Long Ridge Writers Group, looked over parts of both my stories, and told me that too much action, of which Barbarian had loads, could wear out the reader.
I faced trying to mellow out the adrenaline rush.
The prospect had several possibilities, including putting in more of the dull accounts of how he got wherever the fighting took place. I have read many stories which detailed every single step. I mean Every. Single. Step. When I read that, I sigh, circular motions with my hand to pick it up, move it along. “Get on with it.”
I wished not to do that in my writing, so I changed the point of view for sections to go between what I already had. I am, in fact, still working on it. I figure it this way; other characters whose actions are going to be paramount to the outcome (which I’m also still hashing out) should have their time in the limelight. Even the bad guy gets his very own sections. After all, even in fiction, there are many things going on in the world, and the reader wants to know how the evil sorcerer knows where to send the demons to do his bidding.
As for my sci-fi story, “Challenge of The Velah“, I chose to use the first person, where the main character is actually recounting the events. Thus far, and I am really attempting this, the story has no dialog. You read that right. No “he said, she said”. To my knowledge, no other, or at least not many, fictitious works can boast this. I have even been told that, while it can be done, it’s possible, it would take some masterful writing to pull it off.
I’ve let others read what I have, which is substantially more than I have posted, and substantially short of novel length. To many of them, I had to say I avoided dialog, to which they look into space, mouth pursed to a side, maybe a finger to their chin, recalling what they read to discover that, no, there’s no “speaking”. They had not realized even after finishing, that the banter had not been inserted.
But, I digress:
Needless to say, a story cannot be told without some kind of point of view, and choosing the correct POV is one of the most important decisions in the process.
In Nat’s post, he lists not only the different POV possibilities, but also the advantages and disadvantages to using each one. From, of course, his perspective. As with all things written, some will agree, others will not.
So, a recap, or summary, of the POV’s, from my own, There are three main and a few variations on each.
This is where the narrator is actually the main character sharing with the reader. While this point of view might be mainly used for mysteries and thrillers, other writings can use it successfully.
He also explains both the challenges and advantages of several of the POV’s. Worth a read!
My interpretation would be that this is where the storyteller is having the reader carry out the events described.
Creepy, in my opinion. Like having someone else giving you a dream to have. *shudders*
Here is where a lot of lesser trained writers of the English language, both British and American, get drawn aside. Not intentionally, I hope, but in and out through the story.
There are two subheadings here; Omniscient and Limited.
This is where the storyteller announces how several different characters think.
A story will be going through, telling of one character- the actions, the thoughts and motives. Then bam, we are shoved onto another head to know what they have to think about the situation. Several views are had, and then the story gets back to the main character.
“Wait. Who were we talking about?” The reader is left wondering who the story is actually about, and they might change the channel.
The most used of the POV’s. One character is picked to be the main focus. It is to this character the reader clings, waiting with bated breath to find what happened.
The next chapter can be about someone else, but it is highly suggested a writer not blend more than one character per block. It does not even really have to be a separate chapter, so long as there is a definitive break to show things are about to change.
My own share would be to Barbarian– Chapter One, and I have Chapter Two there, as well.
Both are examples of Third Person Limited.
Be it known, however, that I am adding sections between most current chapters, both to lengthen the story, and give it more depth.
I would suggest taking a look at Nat’s blog: He has been in the “game” a bit longer than I and has more insight to share!
Remember, I am still a relative newbie at this, still trying to learn the best ways to get my story out to as many people as possible, and sharing stuff I have found useful or informative.
None of my novels are published because none of them are completed yet. While I would love to post everything I have written, doing so would constitute publishing, making most companies who do publish not be able to work with it. I very much want my work to some day be snatched up by a publisher. Who of us doesn’t? In order to do so, I am only able to offer snippets.
However, I can offer what I have thus far as a file to your email. All you have to do (at least until my website is up and running with its Contact Form) is send me mail to iamyeehaw@gmail and type the title as the subject. If you want to check out “Barbarian” or “Challenge Of The Velah” or both, I can make any popular file type to send, but you have to specify the easiest for you so I know.
I guarantee I will not send you anything else; no badgering to go to my site- it’s not done yet, remember?- nor to buy stuff- all I have is my Poetry Book– just the file you request. While response is, as always and everywhere, greatly appreciated, no one can make someone else respond. I know. I am guilty as charged.
I leave you with that shameless plug. Check your Google searches, and find the best info to suit your needs. Since no one can tell you your story…
Now, as always,