Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Crazy Mind Control - Help, My Characters Hate Me!

Have you ever felt that way while writing a story?

Have you ever had things you felt you were adament about doing or not doing and then you find your characters taking advantage? While I never say never because that seals my fate, there are just things I don't want to do. Writing first person is one of those things.

Oh, my gosh!

If I could set the heroine up on a pole in my backyard and enjoy some target practice, I would. Shame it's illegal to fire a firearm within city limits. LMAO

She's out of control. All of sudden, she's decided she wants to be written in first person. No, no, no, I keep telling her. I was going along, doing just fine. I've never had issues with writing third person. Then bam, I find this entire scene is first person. The only scene at this point that is first person. I've tried changing it, she won't let me. I tried switching to his pov -- no go. Right now, they are both in time out. He's enjoying it too much. He's the type to sit back, egg her on, and watch for fun. And he's so darn cute doing it, too.

I know this is only the first draft and I can worry about it in the fleshing out stage, but damn! I want my way in this story. It's my turn to have my way. The characters in Contemptible Service won.

I know the story has a HEA. So, does it really matter how it gets there? I think it does. At least for some readers.

After yet another fight with Jaycee yesterday, I was browsing review sites - something to do. I'm not expecting more reviews on current titles, though one popped up the other day. So, I was in this one site and my heart stopped when I saw a one heart given. I felt so bad for the author and wanted to wrangle the reviewer. It's just wrong to post a review under a three for any author. If an author wants to post it, fine.

So, anyway, I read the review, curious as to what the reviewers problem was. For her, the first person written format didn't work period. It didn't allow for enough characterization, didn't allow for the fleshing out of the plot and so on. The elements and potential was there, but the author didn't go anywhere with it. While we all know reviews are subjective, it struck a cord with me.

While not many authors can pull off writing first person so I don't notice it's first person or feel like I'm invading privacy, my interest in the reviewers comment was purely in the respect of what I may lose by letting Jaycee win this battle. Will readers lose who she is and only see the emotions of the moment? And of course, things escalated from there. I cut the first person scene and set it aside. We'll see what happens.

Since I've seen the end of the story, the happily ever end is still in intact - I haven't lost what is and will be between the main characters and that's the important part, I think.

I'll just be glad to finish this series of stubborn characters. lol Never thought I'd ever say that.



Lindsay Townsend said...

Hi Bekki,
I'd say it's a mark of how real your character are if they object so much!

I like first person in a story. I know some folk don't. Myabe the reviewer was someone who didn't.

Re your own story - you could maybe try a mixture of first person and third person viewpoints. Some scenes maybe you could do in third person POV? I've seen that done in novels and always enjoyed the results. That is, of course, if your characters will allow it. (Grin)

Savanna Kougar said...

Hey Bekki, I feel your angst. However, if your heroine is determined, can you do one chapter in first POV? Or, a prologue.

I've read a few author articles from the Biggies where they have mixed POVs.

That ONE review makes me want to finish one of my 'first person' WIPs... just for challenge and the 'up yours'.

That's not to say I think everyone has to enjoy first person. Not at all. We all have our preferences which should always be respected.

Bekki Lynn said...

Jaycee has red hair, if that tells you anything.

Ever seen a cat fight between author and character? For the moment, I'm sitting on her. lol

I've only been working with her in my mind today. (PMS headache going on, or I might kill her off)

If I let her win and have only her in the first person -- are publishers and editors accepting of this method? Will I have another fight on my hands?

How different do I dare go? lol

Do I beat her or love her into submission?

Bekki Lynn said...

lol - Savanna -- I'm like you -- some things make me want to do it just to show them up.

Do it!

Savanna Kougar said...

Bekki, great questions. I wish I had great answers for you.

Having red hair I can say love generally works better... we redheads tend to fight back hard...

I know there is a market for first person. How extensive it is I don't have a clue. However, LSB has published a few first person stories like ONCE BITTEN by Trina. Also LSB published one that was written as first person in all three of the lead characters, a BDSM spy erotic romance. However, the author already had success with that series. Dang, her name escapes me at the moment.

My only limitation, right now, is time. I have a 60,000 word novel to do for Siren, that I'm working on currently.
But, I'd love to do a first person for publishing, hopefully. They certainly have their own charm to write.

Sara Taney Humphreys said...

I loved this post. It made me laugh out loud! I definitely know what you're talking about LOL!

Lindsay Townsend said...

First person works brilliantly for certain genres - romantic suspense is one, where having the single viewpoint adds to the tension,(because the reader only knows what the heroine does) makes the hero and his feelings more of a mystery and adds to the immediacy of the heroine's danger.

Maybe you fiery red head is right...

Savanna Kougar said...

Good points, Lindsay

Linda Banche said...

I'm not totally crazy about first person, but it can work. I read a Regency comedy, The Rules of Gentility by Janet Mullany, that was done entirely in first person, the hero and the heroine alternating. It worked here. The story was hilarious.

Bekki Lynn said...

Thanks for the comments, ladies. I wasn't ignoring them.

I went to a wonderful musical of Conway Twitty's life Wednesday evening. OMG! If you loved him and his music, you have to see it - take a box of tissues, sit in the back and don't bother wearing makeup - you'll come out with none.

After that, I was down for the count until yesterday. Must have picked some bug up. It was worse than my last allergic reaction to MSG and that was pretty bad.

I'm glad my post made you laugh, Linda. It wasn't the post intended for the day, but it's what came out. I wanted to introduce everyone to a new friend of mine - I will soon.

But, my darn characters can't even let me be sick in peace. So, I think while Wednesday night's dreams were a mix of NCIS and Conway, Thursday's were about all about this story.

I haven't been able to make sense out of most of it, but Thomas seems to want the lime light for a while - he has a plan maybe. Almost like it's too soon for this scene that's insisting it needs to be first person and maybe that's why it's being this way.

Maybe that's the problem. Maybe he's right. I've not gone back to try and make sense out of the scenes that played around yet.

Maybe, maybe, maybe -- word of the day, it seems. lol

Savanna Kougar said...

Maybe... that's often my word of the day. Yeah, I got some bug too and have been really icky sluggish.
Conway sounds wonderful!

I think that may be your solution though, more front story with Thomas.