Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fundamental Changes

I went for a walk with my dog Hank last night, and as it was a fairly quiet and clear night, it was the perfect time to do some thinking about my novel.  I had just gotten past the recommended goal of 16,670 words (I believe I'm at 16,775?  Sounds about right) and it was time for a well-earned break.

The thing I realized while I was walking was that my novel needs a fundamental change, one that will require a major rewrite when it's done.  While that sounds like a big job - and it is - it's not actually that much of a big deal.  The change I'm talking about is switching from limited 3rd person to writing the novel in 1st person, from the perspective of the main character.

If you recall, I posted at the end of October of my dilemma - what point of view should I write from?  I ended up choosing 3rd person limited, because it gave me more freedom of vocabulary to describe things.  Unfortunately, that has also led to some pretty flat characters that really aren't all that interesting.  It's fortunate that I've realized this during the writing process only a third into the novel rather than after I've written the whole thing and am in the middle of trying to edit the beast.

This is something I should have realized after I wrote my opening chapter; I felt it was weakly written, but I chalked it up to lack of practice (and it's true, my prose has improved immensely since then).  I won't deny that it is a pale shadow of the opening chapter I had in mind - one that was designed to be written from the first person and the main character's perspective.

While I'm going to re-write the opening chapter during my next writing session, I'm not going back and doing any other rewriting until after November 30th.  And, I'm going to keep writing the story from the third person point of view; the reason for this is because I've decided that this draft will also serve as a comprehensive outline.  That's going to make rewriting a heck of a lot easier and less daunting, especially since I will have a clear direction for the novel rather than writing on the fly.

I think given this revelation, I should at some point post an excerpt from the original first chapter and what I come up with in my rewrite.  I think it would be interesting to see the drastic difference.

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha ha! You have become me! This will mark approximately the 3rd novel/story I've tried to start in 3rd person, only to decide 1st person is what the story needs!

    But, yeah, good that you caught it early and identified the problem so you can continue to work productively :)