Thursday’s Thoughts on #Writing ~ How’s the View?

Image result for point-of-view memeI just read a piece on why your story should have two narrators. Nowhere in the piece did it discuss anything about point-of-view, which seemed kind of strange to me, but I didn’t write it, so who am I to judge? While I can see the benefits of sharing multiple character’s points of view with readers, and actually do so rather frequently in my own writing, I also think care needs to be taken to ensure the reader knows whose thoughts they’re reading at all times. (We’ve probably all read books where the author shifts viewpoint so many times that it’s like being inside the head of an overachiever at a Dissociative Identity Disorder conference.)

Image result for going on an adventure memeAll the above being said, I also think it’s important to consider the type of point-of-view you use in your writing. The first time I read a book written in first person, I found it oddly uncomfortable at first. “I” was doing so much! But in time I came to like it, and it seems to be gaining popularity.

I’ve only written one or two short stories in second person, and I’ve found that, while reading stories written in second person, it’s really a big hit or miss for me. Either I really like it, or I hate it.

Image result for writer's point of view memeThird person limited seems to be the most commonly used form. It’s the good, old, safe, warm blanket of reading (or writing) from a character’s viewpoint without getting too intimate with the character too fast. We’re (readers) ‘watching’ more than ‘doing’. We know what the narrator wants us to know, little they don’t want us to know, and are left to draw our own conclusions.

Image result for chaos memeThird person omniscient would seem an easy solution to the ‘at least two narrators’ article I read, except that, as I said above, special care needs to be taken so that readers know what thought is attributed to what character. I get very frustrated when, as a reader, I have to read a sentence or paragraph multiple times to try to figure out which character’s viewpoint it is. I get even more frustrated when I still can’t figure it out after multiple readings – sometimes the author just doesn’t let you know, and while I can understand that sometimes this is done as a literary device to aid the plot, more times than not it’s just carelessness.

Then there’s unreliable narrators . . . I won’t get started on that. I’ll just say, when done properly, I enjoy it very much.

Image result for point-of-view memeWhat do you think? Do you think one point-of-view works better for different types of plots than others? Are you more comfortable writing (or reading) one type over the other? Have you noticed a trend in the point-of-view used that correlates to the amount of enjoyment or satisfaction you feel writing or reading? Does your work just instinctively choose one when you start writing, or do you try out different points-of-view until you find what works best for the piece? Inquiring minds want to know . . . 🙂

 

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100 Best-Loved Poems ~ #Review

18681675I wasn’t a huge fan of this compilation. Many of the poems featured war or battle as their themes. The poems that I enjoyed are the same poems that are found in every poetry collection. I do feel, however, that I am learning/evolving/growing in my quest to develop a better appreciation for poetry – I’ve finally developed an admiration for poems that don’t rhyme, which I think stems from finally learning the cadence with which to read them – for years I struggled to find a beat or rhythm when a poem didn’t rhyme, but now I feel more confident that I’m reading them ‘correctly’. My quest continues . . . * 3 stars.

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True Grit ~ Tuesday’s Words of Writing Inspiration

20 Beyond-True Quotes About Writing from TheLadyinRead.com

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Meme Monday ~ Laughs for #Readers and #Writers

Best Writer Meme of the Week:

Game Shows for Writers - So you think you can write? - Writers Write Creative Blog

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Thursday’s Thoughts on Writing ~ The Long and the Short of It

Image result for short story writer memeI consider myself a novelist. My goal is to write (and publish) full length books. Yet, at the same time, I enjoy writing short stories from time to time. I think they’re great practice. Shorter pieces force you to create and develop a full plot over the course of a short timeline, which is great for learning to make every word count, as well as for perfecting pacing. As an added bonus, there are endless markets for short fiction, making it much easier to get published than full length novels.

 

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However, I’ve spoken with several other writers who think that you have to choose one form or the other and stick with it. They’re of the opinion that writing both long and short fiction will ‘sully the waters’. That in order to develop and perfect your craft, you need to have a narrow focus.

 

Image result for long story short memeMany well known, prolific writers pen both. Others started their careers writing one form, then changed to the other. At the end of the day, I’m going to do what I want and what feels right for me, but I admit, sometimes I wonder. When I’m working on a short story while I have an almost finished novel and endless edits waiting, I can’t help but fear that maybe the purists are right. Maybe I’m spreading myself too thin, or wasting time on one endeavor when I should be focused on the other.

So, I thought I’d see what you guys thought. Any strong opinions on the matter, or is it just one more needless thing to worry about? Who writes both and who focuses on only one form?

 

 

 

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Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner ~ #Mystery #BookReview

26141649The premise of this story, while not new or fresh, was interesting. (It’s in the title, so I won’t consider it a spoiler to say that a young woman goes missing. Surprise!) The writing, pacing, and characters were all good. The mystery was suspenseful and not predictable.

There were plenty of twists that kept me guessing, and many of my theories proved wrong, which I always enjoy, but for some reason, this just wasn’t a 5 star book for me. I can’t put my finger on the reason why. If I had to guess, I’d say that more needed to be done to make me care about the fate of the missing girl. That, and all the women in the story  seemed a little too concerned with men. However, it was a good book that kept me guessing. 4 stars!

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True Grit ~ Tuesday’s Words of Writing Inspiration

Quote Tell the story of the mountains you climbed. Your words could become a page in someone else’s survival guide. - Morgan Harper Nichols  #writerscommunity #amwriting image with nice coloured background

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Meme Monday ~ Laughs for #Readers and #Writers

Best Reader Meme of the Week:

Image result for book meme

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Thursday’s Thoughts on Writing ~ To Genre, or Not to Genre?

Why is it that we feel the need to create labels? To pigeonhole people into tiny little boxes? How does that promote expanding one’s horizons and growth? It doesn’t.

Image result for funny genre memes

If you tell someone you write, they inevitably ask, “What do you write?” If you answer, “Fiction,” most people feel the need to delve deeper and ask, “What kind of fiction?” Why do I feel like I’m going to be judged by my answer? If I say I write mysteries or thrillers, does that make me less of a writer than someone who pens contemporary literature? If I respond with ‘psychological suspense’, does that mean I get taken more or less seriously than someone who writes romance? And what do we do with those zany authors who write chic lit, sci-fi and fantasy?  Where do they fit in on the totem pole?

It seems like there’s a fair amount of bias in terms of genre, and I don’t understand it one bit. At the end of the day, a book is entertainment. While the author may have lessons and messages and epiphanies they hope to convey and inspire, there are always going to be readers who gloss over the deeper meaning and read the novel simply as a form of escapism. (Now let’s judge the readers!!!)

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My point is, why should a writer have to choose? I’ve read plenty of literature with a mystery at its core, and I’ve read suspense novels that were beautifully written with language that gave me chills. Romance has dipped its finger in every pot. Part of being creative is exploring new horizons, trying new things. It should be encouraged.

There are authors who use a different pen name for each genre they write. There are some who use a pen name for their own amusement, and still others who, already having achieved a high degree of fame, use a pen name to see how a book will be received if critics don’t know it’s them (J.K. Rowling, Stephen King) that wrote it.

If you identify with a certain genre, shout it loud and proud. If you don’t, refuse to be put into that little box that society wants so badly for you to fit into. Either way, own it, and never feel like less of a creative force because of it.

 

 

 

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The Slow Burn of Silence by Loreth Anne White ~ #Mystery #BookReview

22379076Although I didn’t realize it when I started reading this book, it’s the second novel I’ve read by author Loreth Anne White. Both were free Kindle downloads. Both would fall under the category of romantic suspense. And both were really good.

I’m not a huge fan of the romance, and felt this book would have been better with a bit less of ‘those’ scenes, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I raced through the pages like there was a cookie waiting for me at the end.

Well developed characters, good writing and dialogue, perfect pacing, suspense that makes your toes curl . . . what more can you ask for? It doesn’t feel ‘formula’, but I’m sure this author has one – and it works. The blurb on the back cover may have been a bit cheesy; it made me pass over this selection multiple times when choosing my next book to read, but I’m glad I gave it a chance. 5 stars!

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