1st person, present

If people insist on writing in the first person, present tense, then how about they write steam-of-consciousness works? This crap where it’s the MC just observing what’s happening and reporting to the reader feels more impersonal and broken than writing in the third person.

“I walk down a hall. I see a dragon. Then I run away from the dragon.”

This is boring. I mean, I’m falling asleep here! Let’s jazz that up:

“The hallway is too dark, but there’s a little bright light that I see and I’m not sure if it’s just my eyes tricking me when I find a beast. Its jaws are going to destroy me, shit! Run, run, run, damnit, run!”

Anyone who wants to write in this style should be required to read James Joyce’s Ulysses.

Does your mind ever take a break? Are there times when you find that others have been talking, but you have not been listening? Of course! It happens all the time! So if you’re going to write in this style, don’t have the MC be a damned omnipotent god. In third person, it’s okay to reveal everything.

Just make it real. Put me in the person’s head. Their thoughts should be their actions.

The Martian does a pretty good job of it.

Share with me your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s