No need to be anybody but oneself. (only_more_love) wrote,
No need to be anybody but oneself.

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Random thoughts about writing and reading

I'm going to have to come back and add to this post later, but I wanted to jot this down while it was still fresh in my head. 

1.  There is nothing inherently wrong with first person point of view in fiction, but I am so tired of seeing it in so many of the novels I browse through at the bookstore. I know it lends intimacy to a story, etc., but at least right now, I would strongly prefer to read third person point of view writing.  "I, I, and more I."  No thanks.   

2.  Second person point of view--why?  I just don't get it.  The thought of trying to read a story or book that is filled with sentences like "You walk through a dark forest without a guide," makes me nauseous.  Reminds me of those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books that were out when I was a kid.

3.  Maybe I'm being too picky, but it bugs me when I read fanfic or fiction where there are sections like this:

The doorbell rang, jarring Booth from the rather pleasant dream he'd been having.  As he got up from his chair in order to see who was on his doorstep, he felt Brennan's eyes linger on the long, lean lines of his body.


Her neck hurt because she had been poring over bones all day.  Sighing wearily, she brushed a strand of silky brown hair off her face and tucked it behind her ear.

[ETA:  I made up those sentences; I didn't snag them from someone else's stories.]

I don't know if other people notice point of view slips like that, but they make me cringe.  Why?  Because unless they're really vain, people don't think of themselves that way.  In the first example, we're clearly in Booth's head, and I'm positive Booth doesn't think of "the long, lean lines of his body" at random moments.  Just as I'm sure that Brennan, whose head we're in in the second example, doesn't think of her "silky brown hair" when she shoves it off her face.  Do you think about your hair color when you tuck your hair behind your ear?  I seriously doubt it.  People might look at other people and characterize their bodies and features that way, but they rarely think of themselves similarly.

I'm not saying this is an unforgivable error.  But it is something I notice and worry about having pop up in my own writing.  I have no idea if it will ever happen, but I would like to aim for publication at some point, and there are so many bad habits one can develop as a writer.   It's much harder to break a bad habit than it is to avoid developing it in the first place.

It is, of course, difficult to maintain whatever point of view you choose for a given work.  Still, I believe it's worth the effort. 

4.  "Go away," she hissed. 

This mistake always makes me laugh.  There are no sibilants in "Go away," so she couldn't have hissed it.

5.  "Honey, I'm home," she grinned. 

I see that all the time in fanfiction, and it's just plain wrong.  An action isn't a dialogue tag.  A person cannot grin or smile or frown a sentence.  

This works:

She grinned.  "Honey, I'm home."

So does this:

"Honey, I'm home," she said, grinning.

There are reasons why writing is considered a difficult exercise.  *g*

Be back later to edit this post.


If you've recently read an enjoyable novel, would you mind commenting with the title?  I need something to read.  I don't read horror, but every other genre is fair game.  The only other restriction is that the novel not be written in first person point of view.  There's nothing wrong with first person POV; I just don't want to read it right now.

And yes, I know tastes differ.  I won't blame you if I don't like the book. :)
Tags: book recs, rambling, reading, writing
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