The Little Things are Not Important…Until They Are

PONTO DE VISTA - Point of View

hm, I like this Point of View

Writers have such a hard job, and until sitting down and really focusing on my current WIP (like, for real this time, and not a flight of fancy like it was in the past), I never thought about little things like “Voice” and “Perspective” and “Point of View.”  I always figured they would work themselves out, as I wrote, no problems, since they would be a natural extension of The Story.

Well, all those things seem so little compared to the other things that come into play when writing, but when they don’t mesh well with the story, they become really BIG things.  As a reader, I judge a book’s readworthiness by how well the book kept me engaged.  If it was a breath of fresh air to read, then I know that book was ridiculously good.  (Yeah, I don’t buy into that stupid notion that if a book is hard to understand, or difficult to read, then the book has to be good.  Or, the flip side: if the book was easy to read, then it must not be good.  Who came up with that?  Stupid people who want to feel stupid, that’s who. Sorry for the harshness.  You can imagine me saying that in a cute little squirrel voice to lessen the blow.)

Part of what makes a book enjoyable to me, is a “Voice” that matches the “Point of View” and/or “Perspective.”  But, it’s these things that have me going around in circles recently (and honestly, I don’t know why.)

I’m concerned because I feel like my subject matter is supposed to be “bleak” and “serious.”  But, whenever I write “seriously” (imagine scholarly librarian here :)), I end up with a silly, sarcastic voice (which is probably just my own stupid commentary) that I keep needing to edit out. (Hm, maybe my pretty purple robe doesn’t set me up for a serious mindset…nah, that can’t be it.) 🙂

My initial instinct is just to keep writing and experimenting, and I know it will eventually work itself out once I know more of The Story, but I didn’t realize how “blocked” I am about it till I tried to sit down to work on The Novel today.  I actually thought to myself, “What if I get all the way through in third person point of view with multiple perspectives, and I actually should have gone with first person point of view, single perspective through the main character?”

I know, I know.  Little thing to quibble about, and as soon as I post this, I will go back and work my multiple perspectives, one perspective at a time, from beginning to the end of the plot chronology, working in my character biographies one person at a time.  I just needed not to feel like I’m crazy thinking about these “little things.”

Please tell me that you have felt this way, so I feel less crazy.  Thank you!


6 thoughts on “The Little Things are Not Important…Until They Are

  1. Melissa says:

    I wouldn’t call this “little”. You are absolutely correct – these seemingly small components of writing carry hefty weight. If they don’t jive properly with everything else you’ve got going on, you may as well be sinking in a boat with a slotted spoon to help save you.

    WRITING IS HARD. Awesome, but HARD. Especially in the beginning, working out all of the kinks. Worst is devoting copious time to a project only to find you have to scrap it all and start over. That freezes a lot of people in the very beginning from completing a manuscript – the “what if”s. It stalled my current WIP for a solid 3-4 months before I finally said “Screw it, I’m only wasting time. May as well write it & see what happens.”

    Hard, man. Best of luck to you this afternoon!

  2. ricagoingbento says:

    Although, I am not a writer, I see that you are frustrated. You will find your voice or maybe you have already, just have to put it on paper. I love reading the stuff you write because I know you and I think you are sarcastically funny. Remember those days when we were in Orange Lake? We went to the club, just sat there, looking up the ceiling and each other, and just kept laughing about laughing. It was actually fun. I enjoyed your company and hearing different point of view. You make me think about things I did not think through. Anyway, I went on different tangent but my overall point of this comment is, just write what you know…and pray that that God will give you wisdom in how to organize and write your thoughts and express yourself. Love ya!

  3. Agatha82 says:

    I cannot write in a really serious voice. My best friend who’s my beta reader has commented more than once that I have a slight dark humourous tone to my writing. I believe that is my “voice” – Whenever I veer away from that, I write crap. Also, I cannot do the omniscient 3rd narrator….that god-like narrator who can describe everything from the history of a town, down to what a squirrel is doing up in a tree. It just feels way too detached to me. In spite of that, I love Stephen King who writes in that POV.

    If a book is hard to read/understand/follow then it’s not a well written book. A good book doesn’t even make you aware of the writer. You just get involved in the story. At least, that’s my opinion.

    P.S I started my novel in first person from the female character and it felt wrong. After writing a few chapters, I tried writing in 3rd person limited from my male character and that worked much better. If you were writing in the wrong POV – I think, you would have noticed already…

    • Liza Kane says:

      I too started in the first person! I think I was influenced by a LOT of the recent YA books out there, because a majority of them are written in the first person. Definitely better (for me) to write in the third person. Thanks for making me feel better about my decision.

      Originally, I wanted to right from just the main character’s limited perspective, but I like how Cassie Clare and Melissa Marr write from 2-3 perspectives. (Actually, I grabbed the method of writing the story from beginning to end from each perspective, one at a time, from Marr.)

      I think my issue is that I have cheeky and satirical moments, and I know I need to restrain myself, because I’m not brilliant enough to write a whole novel in satire. Nor am I witty enough to be sarcastic and funny throughout a whole novel. Enter my belated epiphany of multiple perspectives. *face palm*

  4. Carol Ann Hoel says:

    When I first read about point of view (POV) in fiction writing, I researched it on the Internet. It took me a while to understand it. When I actually identified my POV mistakes and corrected them, I was amazed at the difference it made in flow. I sat back and marveled at how a small adjustment could make such a significant improvement. Developing and perfecting voice and perspective also produce unbelievably huge rewards. Thank you for sharing.

    • Liza Kane says:

      I know what you mean about flow: this whole issue gave me a few hiccups this week and I got into analysis-paralysis mode, where I couldn’t get myself moving forward. Thankfully, I was able to just reread my notes, add some more random background things to characters, and then was able to move forward again. Oh, and re-reading favorite passages from favorite novels helps too 😉

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