Working Overtime

These past few weeks I’ve been working overtime, deep into revisions. As I’ve been working away my mind had been fluctuating between words of praise for what I’m doing and words of, “Will I ever get it right?” I’m not what I would consider a perfectionist by any means and when it comes to writing I’m the one I’m aiming to please. When it sounds right I’ll know it. Do you get what I mean?

I’ve noticed I’m a bit impatient by times. I’m willing to work hard at my writing but I expect results after a certain number of attempts. I mean, how many times can you rewrite a paragraph before you realized it was better five or six drafts earlier. Yes, you can over edit. I know. I’ve been there.

But the story I began with is transforming, there’s no other way of putting it. It’s amazing how a story’s plot line can remain basically the same and yet the story itself can be completely different. That just right “voice” is what makes the difference and can change a story from mediocre to simply stunning.

I’ve switched some of my paragraphs to first person accounts and really like the results. I like writing in first person. I’ve always felt comfortable there. First person allows the writer access to feelings and thoughts that we might not otherwise be able to show our reader. I’m really big on getting to the heart of people’s emotions, finding out what really makes them tick. For me, this is easier to do while in first person.

I find human behaviour to be quite fascinating, why people think and do the things they do. What gives them their “flaws.” (Not sure I care for the word flaw as it indicates that we all must follow a certain behaviour pattern to be what society considers “normal.” ) Lets just say I like to read about interesting characters. I like the idea that almost everyone, despite these “flaws” has some redeeming qualities. Sometimes knowing the motives behind their actions makes them feel a bit more sympathetic. Hey, I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. But then I’ve been told I have my head in the clouds!!

So here’s where I’ve been lately, deep in revision land and it’s really been keeping me busy. It feels as though the end is quickly coming near but that could just be me with my head in the clouds again. Regardless, it’s a good feeling and I don’t mind working overtime at it. At least I can admit, that for the most part, I’ve been enjoying the process.

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  1. Miss Julie

     /  May 25, 2010

    I agree. There’s just something about first person narratives… or writing first person narratives. If I’m feeling out of touch with a story, changing it to first person allows me to identify with the character. Writing in third person feels so impersonal sometimes.

    Interestingly enough, when I read third person narratives, I don’t think… gee, I wish that had been first person.


    • You make an interesting point, Miss Julie. When I read third person narratives I don’t wish it had been written first person, either. I guess when done well, both are effective.


  2. I like both, depending on the main character and the tone I’m trying to achieve. The story I’m currently revising has gone from third to first, partly back to third and then finally to first again! How’s that for indecision? I find third person is generally easier to write, but first is more intimate to read and I finally realized that was what this ms needed.


    • My story is fluctuating as well. Sometimes it just feels right to do that. Doesn’t it?

      Good luck with the ms.


  3. “I like writing in first person. I’ve always felt comfortable there.”

    1st person is something I’m experimenting with (on a 3rd “story”) but it’s uncomfortable. Maybe it’s because I write for kids & my characters are teenagers (& I’m an old man).

    Good explanation.


    • For me, first person allows me to really get inside the character’s heads. That said, I’m most comfortable writing from the perspective of a 12 yr old girl. Maybe I never grew up.

      Maybe just try becoming that person, tap into their feelings.
      I guess if you’re an old man then I’m an old woman so I’m not going to let you use that as an excuse, i mean explanation. LOL!

      Besides, you can always change it back if you don’t like it or if it just doesn’t work. Keep an open mind! Good to hear you’re back at it.



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