Thursday, September 9, 2010

In Over My Head

I think I’m in over my head. First person is hard! Especially when the person I’m using as the narrator is absolutely nothing like me. To explain, I’ve decided that having the entire story told from the MC’s point of view would be very boring. Even though it is very easy to write her. I’m not ashamed to admit that my MC is a good deal like me. But, now I’ve started writing a few chapters with the Bad Guy as the narrator. The Bad Guy is a 50 something year old man who is a religious freak, very intelligent and is lacking some humanity. I’m not sure how much more different he could be from me and so I’m having a very hard time getting into his head.

In my original draft I wrote a chapter about him, but it was in third person and it worked very well. But, in an effort to get into his head so I could write a later chapter with him as the narrator, I rewrote that chapter into first person. I knew as I wrote it that something was wrong, I just couldn’t put my finger on it. So I sent the finished chapter to my sister Carrie who is not only a grammar Nazi, but is much smarter than me because she’s actually going to college for English. In the end, she made me realize that all my fears about writing this character were real.

So now I’m at a point where I’m wondering if I should even write my Bad Guy in as an occasional narrator. I’m sure I could do it, given the time, but time is something I don’t have. I can’t really dedicate myself to writing this character while I’m at work. The environment is all wrong. But I really want to have him as a narrator! I know my story will suck if I don’t use him. The reader has to have a chance to see things through his eyes so that they can understand why he does what he does. I want that emotional impact, I want the reader to almost feel bad for him.

Blah! Writing is hard, why couldn’t I find some other creative pursuit, like scrapbooking, or sewing, or something else simple?