When the day finally comes that my work is published I will be so grateful for everyone that has helped. In the last month I have had a falling out with a family member, had to rewrite my MS and had some bad luck with my vehicle. And yes I said “had” to rewrite my MS. The way it flowed was being impeded with a narrative voice that did not feel like it had that something that I knew was missing. Changing it to third person narrative had changed the flow as well as my thinking when it comes to the way I look at my manuscript.
I used to think I was this huge talent that had no problems with my writing, that has since gone out the window. I see bits and pieces of it after I have written it and it makes my head hurt, there are other times after writing I feel accomplished. Last night was one of those times. I finished the first chapter revision/rewrite in third person narrative. Something that I had trouble doing since I have seen the story in first person for the last few years, only in the past 6 months really trying to finish it. This task was harder than I thought it was going to be. I knew the characters what they look like, their mannerisms. However, I never saw them with different eyes, it was always my eyes, I let my wife read and a few family members. They said they liked it but it was missing something. One of the critique boards I used told me to rewrite it in third person, I had trouble with this for a couple reasons and both of them were more of a reason to do it. The ones critiquing were either published or not, and they did not know me personally.
I found fault with these because why is someone that has not been published telling me to do something that I did not want to do. And that they did not know me or my personal life made it harder to believe that something I loved was being turned around and dealt with in such a way as to actually anger me. It was then that I began reading “The Forest for the Trees” by Betsy Lerner. After reading most of this book in one sitting I knew that everyone was right about changing it to third person narrative.
After changing the narrative I have seen my writing improve, my problem of telling and not showing is starting to fade. I have also been paying more attention of the way other writers put things down on the page. This has been helping immensely.
These are the four things I suggest to any writer that is having issues with their first person narrative.
First try switching to third person, it may open your eyes to things you did not see in the manuscript or know about your characters before.
Second, listen to your critiques, truly listen to them and take what they say into your soul. Believe in what they say. You may not like it but it may help your writing more than you think.
Third, get critiqued often. Even if it is a simple rewrite of a chapter or a paragraph. Some of the people who critique your work may get irritated at you posting so frequently, but it helps your WiP than they need to deal with it.
Fourth, and the last. Having someone you do not know or someone you trust preferably not family critique your work. And independent set of eyes will help your work improve more than you may think it will.
That is all I have for today.
Till the dawn,