Monday, February 25, 2013

Do What Feels Natural

When it comes to writing (and probably other things, but it’s not like I’m going to be talking about those here), it’s sometimes not a bad idea to simply do what feels natural to you, to give in to your strengths. I've recently come to the realization that I tend to write best in first-person POV. I have no idea why, but I noticed when I write in third-person, I tend to pull away from the protag a bit, be a bit distance-y. And, in general, that's something I always try to avoid.  I want to be right there in the protagonist’s direct thoughts and feelings, so readers feel like they’re perceiving the world and story through the protag’s eyes.  For me, that tends to lead to a stronger reading experience, and for me that’s best achieved in first-person.  Maybe when I write in third, the very fact that I refer to the protagonist as a “he” or “she,” rather than “I,” naturally starts to pull me away from the protag and things only get worse from there.  But either way, I wind up having to do lots of revision to make the POV tighter and closer when I write in third-person POV.  So now, I think I’m not going to fight it anymore, and just plain write in first-person POV. 

That’s not to say I won’t write in third-person if the story calls for it.  If I happen to think of a story idea that involves multiple POVs and it simply makes sense to go for third-person, then I will.  But I figure, why purposefully go for third when I tend to write better in first?  Why fight my nature?

I realized this same type about myself a while ago regarding the audience I write for.  At first I wrote adult stories, then realized very quickly I’m naturally better suited for a younger audience, so I wrote in the young adult genre.  But turns out I have more of a natural middle-grade voice, so now I write middle-grade, and I love it.  Why fight it, you know?

But again, that doesn’t mean I won’t write outside my natural comfort zone(s) should the occasion arise.  I plan to start writing my adult superhero story (now that I’m nearing pre-planning completion), and we’ll see how that goes.  But I’d say that, in general (as there are always exceptions, of course), write to your strengths and what feels natural to you.

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