it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

  • Mood:
Saw that one coming....

Bronzerider! Like B'lerion, F'lessan, and K'net
you would ride a bronze dragon, the largest of
the males. You are intelligent and courageous,
and have the leadership ability it takes to
lead a wing into Threadfall. More than
anything, you love the thrill of riding a
flaming dragon.

A Pern Quiz: What Color Dragon Would You Ride?
brought to you by Quizilla

I'm still trying to wrap my head around this third-person omniscient thing.

The consensus from both me and the writerbrain so far is: It's hard and we don't like it. We hates it, the precious, hatesss it. And we think we're screwing it up royally.

So why do we keep doing it? Well, it's obviously a very powerful tool, and one I should learn to use, but it's freakish and unnatural to me. I write, generally, by strong identification with and immersion in my characters. I'm not so much a character-driven writer as a writer who is unaware that the world exists beyond the needs of the characters. This is a strength.

It's also a weakness.

Omni won't let me do that. Omni doesn't permit me the narrative unreliability I rely on, the misconceptions, the in-character delusions and the conflicting perspectives I use to bring dimension to a story, almost reflexively at this point.

I am finding omni incredibly restrictive, because it robs me of a good fifty percent of my usual toolbox. I have to stop and think every paragraph, even every sentence, consider my transitions between the narrative POV and character POVs, make sure I understand why I'm dipping into any given character and what that character's perspective has to offer me. There's far more ability to just tell the reader something, to launch into little historical lectures... and the temptation to overuse that is enormous.

Moreover, I can *feel* the way the POV distances me from the characters. I can't simply sink myself into a character and understand him from the inside, grok him, feel what he would he would do. I have to think about it, and I'm making far more missteps than I normally do, getting stuck, having to go back and redraft. I'm outside them, with the ability to look in... but they remain aliens. It makes me feel trapped, frantic, like I'm not doing my job and getting to where I need to be with regard to the character motivations, because I have to understand them in such an intellectual fashion in addition to grasping them on my more normal intuitive level.


On the other hand, it's good to stretch. And I am learning a heck of a lot. And boy this is hard.

Fortunately, I have all the time in the world (the earliest I could possibly need to have this book done is January of 2006, *if* Blood & Iron gets picked up after my contract is done) and I have my friendly little toy book, nice fluffy calm little One-Eyed Jack, to keep me distracted while I try to work out this new skill set. I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually.

But in the mean time, expect whinging about how hard it is and how much I hate it. *g*


ETA: neat post here by st_crispins on the tripodal narrative structure. She's specifically writing for Man From UNCLE fanfiction writers. However, there's a lot of useful stuff in here for all of us--and it ties in tidily to some of the things tar_pith has mentioned in IM about Ted Chiang, and building stories on a tripodal structure (his example was two sfnal ideas and a human situation, sufficiently developed, equal a story).

Sadly, Jer hasn't blogged about his plot theories.
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